NEW YORK (AP) -- An Indianapolis jury awarded $2 million to
John and Vicky Barnes, whose hemophiliac son, John Jr., tested
positive for AIDS in 1985 and died six years later at age 14.
The couple had refused to join class-action settlements from
four drug companies that were sued over tainted blood-clotting
products. Thousands of hemophiliacs who got AIDS from tainted
blood may now want to pass on the companies' $100,000
settlement offers, according to Corey Dubin, president of a
group for hemophiliacs with AIDS called the Committee of Ten
More than 6,000 hemophiliacs with AIDS tentatively accepted the
deal, which has been delayed because of a dispute over whether
some of the money should be paid to the federal government as
reimbursement for health benefits.
In the case that ended Thursday, the Indiana jury agreed with
lawyers for the Barnes family that Bayer Corp.'s Cutter
Laboratories division should have warned patients in the early
1980s that its product, derived from human plasma, could carry
the virus that causes AIDS. Bayer is a unit of Germany's Bayer
It was only the second time in about a dozen similar trials
that a jury sided with the plaintiffs. The first verdict, a
Florida case, was overturned on appeal.
Daniel McIntyre, a Bayer spokesman, said the company is
studying an appeal.
The major producers of clotting products Bayer, Alpha
Therapeutic Corp., Baxter International Inc. and Rhone-Poulenc
Rorer Inc. have maintained that there was no scientific proof
of a blood-borne link to AIDS in the early 1980s.
DE CAUSES AIDS