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The Baycol / Lipobay - Scandal

Baycol Plaintiff Seeks $500 Million

FRANKFURT (Reuters / February 27, 2003) - Lawyers for a plaintiff suing Bayer AG over its recalled cholesterol drug Baycol will seek $500 million in punitive damages from the firm, according to a German media report on Thursday.

The amount would be in addition to compensation of around $100 million already demanded in the case at Corpus Christi in Texas, the plaintiff's lawyer Mikal Watts told the Euro am Sonntag weekly, according to an advance copy of a report to be published on Sunday.

Watts was not directly quoted in the article.

A Bayer spokeswoman said she was unable to comment on the report for legal reasons.

Bayer said on Wednesday it was impossible to forecast the outcome of litigation over Baycol, and said it might consider making provisions for liabilities, news which sent its already battered stock to its lowest level in over a decade.

The stock, which had lost more than a fifth of its value since the start of the week, had recovered some of the previous session's sharp falls by 1325 GMT, trading up five percent at 12.23 euros.

Bayer recalled Baycol, also called Libobay outside the United States, in August 2001 after it was linked with more than 50 deaths worldwide. The number of deaths linked to the drug has since risen to more than 100.

Bayer has said that it had kept U.S. regulators fully informed of safety information on Baycol, including adverse event reports, and that documents released by plaintiffs had been taken out of context.

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