July 27, 2009 / 1:26 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 2-Nigeria, Pfizer settle Trovan lawsuit

* Settled suit over 1996 trial of meningitis drug Trovan

* Kano state counsel says deal to be signed Thursday

* Source says Pfizer to pay $75 mln under proposed deal (Adds details on settlement from additional source)

KANO, Nigeria, July 27 (Reuters) - Nigeria’s Kano state and drugmaker Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) have reached a final court settlement in a multi-billion dollar lawsuit over a 1996 drug trial, lawyers for both parties said on Monday.

The northern state of Kano sued the world’s largest drugmaker in May 2007 for $2 billion in damages over testing of the meningitis drug Trovan, which state authorities said killed 11 children and left dozens disabled.

“We have settled and we are signing an agreement on Thursday,” said Aliyu Umar, counsel for Kano state.

The New York-based company has denied all charges and said meningitis, not Trovan, killed the children or damaged their health. It said Trovan saved lives and was as effective as a more established drug used for comparison in the study.

The lawyers would not describe the settlement, but a source close to the deal said it obliges Pfizer to pay $75 million.

As much as $35 million of the settlement is slated to go to a fund that would provide payments to eligible people who participated in the clinical study of Trovan, said the source, who asked not to be named.

The source said $30 million of the settlement would be set aside for healthcare initiatives chosen by the Kano State government, while $10 million of the settlement would be used to reimburse Kano State for legal costs associated with the lawsuit.

“We are happy with what we got,” said one of the victims on Monday without confirming the settlement amount.

Lawyers are expected to officially withdraw the case at a hearing on Aug. 6 in Kano.

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