Settlement Reached in Inhaler Lawsuit: Copley Pharmaceutical Inc. agreed to pay up to $150 million to settle the suits alleging that bacterial contamination of its respiratory drug albuterol caused sickness and death. The tentative settlement announced by U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer halted a 42-day-old trial on 79 consolidated lawsuits filed over 14 deaths and 100 injuries nationwide. Albuterol is used by asthmatics and others with breathing disorders and is often taken through aerosol inhalers. It is made by a number of generic drug companies including Canton, Mass.-based Copley. Under terms of the settlement, Copley will not admit any fault but will pay up to $150 million in damages.
<i> Times Staff and Wire Reports</i>