updated 7/28/2004 8:29:32 AM ET 2004-07-28T12:29:32

A Pennsylvania jury has decided lawsuits filed against a New Jersey drug maker by two former users of the diet drug Pondimin.

Wyeth, in a statement issued Tuesday night, said the jury ruled in its favor in one case and awarded the other plaintiff $48,000 in compensatory damages.

Both had claimed they suffered heart valve damage from using the drug, which was part of the once wildly popular fen-phen combination.

Pondimin and the other drug, Redux, were pulled from the market in September 1997 amid reports they had caused heart valve damage and, in a small number of users, a potentially deadly lung condition.

The verdict comes just days after Madison, N.J.-based Wyeth and attorneys for former fen-phen users seeking compensation under a national class-action settlement announced a deal in which they would get payments from a settlement trust fund sooner but would receive less money.

That agreement, though, must still be approved by a federal judge after some details are resolved during the next few weeks.

According to court documents, the deal announced last Thursday requires Wyeth to add $1.275 billion to the $3.75 billion trust fund it set up to cover the settlement.

Wyeth has already reserved $16.6 billion to cover the trust fund, legal fees, jury awards and out-of-court settlements, as well as the lung damage cases, but only $3.3 billion remains in the fund.

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