A Missoula jury on Wednesday awarded $3.2 million to a woman suing the maker of a bone-strengthening drug in a decision that could have a bearing on hundreds of cases against the company nationwide.
Peggy L. Stevens, 57, of Missoula filed suit against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., alleging the company should have disclosed health risks associated with the bone-strengthening drug called Zometa.
Stevens developed dental and jaw-related problems after taking the drug for several years.
Stevens' attorneys said the company knew patients taking Zometa were vulnerable to a degenerative jaw disorder called osteonecrosis, particularly those patients who undergo invasive dental procedures. Symptoms include pain, loosening of teeth, exposed bone and infection.