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Two Texas Law Firms Awarded $5.2 Million in Fees from Avandia Lawsuit

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Law firms that represent the state of New Mexico in a settlement with GlaxoSmithKline have been awarded $5.2 million by a judge, according to the Albuquerque Journal News. The settlement was for $24 million due to the company’s marketing of diabetes drug Avandia.

Last month, an order was handed down by State District Judge Francis J. Mathew in Santa Fe. The order was for an award of $5.1 million in attorney fees and some $118,000 in costs. The money is going to the law firms Heard Robins Cloud and Black and Baron & Budd. Both of these firms are headquartered in Texas.

The state was represented by the firms based on a contract issued by the office of the state Attorney General Gary King. Baron & Budd was brought in as a subcontractor by Heard.

The New Mexico Campaign finance Information System has data that shows lawyers from those firms have made some $116,300 in political donations to King dating back to 2009.

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The communications director at the Attorney General office, Phil Sisneros, said that Heard was hired due to its competitive proposal for the lawsuit.

“As a result of their expertise, the State received almost ten times more ($15 million) from the settlement than it would have under the alternative joint legal action by a number of other states on the same issues,” Sisneros said in an interview via email with the Albuquerque Journal News.

The money awarded to the firms will be paid from the $24 million the state received in the settlement with the drug company. The federal government will received $3.8 million to help offset losses from Medicaid fraud. The state will be left with $15 million.

Residents of the state injured by the drug Avandia will not be receiving payouts from the settlement. Instead, the attorney general noted that the money from the settlement could be used to finance consumer activities.

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