LONDON -(Dow Jones)- GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) said it settled on the eve of a U.S. federal court case alleging that its Avandia diabetes drug led to the death of a man from a heart attack.

The U.K.'s biggest drugmaker resolved the suit by the family of James Burford, an Avandia user who died in 2006.

The settlement of the Burford case means that other Avandia cases brought in Philadelphia by two plaintiff attorneys--Joseph Zonies and Thomas Cartmell--have also been resolved, a company spokeswoman said without giving details or settlement terms.

"GSK has resolved the Burford case scheduled for trial today in the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, and all cases represented by attorneys Joseph Zonies and Thomas Cartmell," Glaxo said in a statement.

"There are many circumstances where a company may determine to resolve certain matters in order to avoid the inherent risks and significant costs of litigation," the company said, adding that "GSK continues to stand behind the safety and efficacy of Avandia when used appropriately and according to its label."

Glaxo, which reports full-year results Thursday, has absorbed massive legal charges this year tied to consumer lawsuits over Avandia, once the company's second-largest selling medicine.

Data tying Avandia to increased risks of heart attacks prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to put tight restrictions on the drug's use last year, while European regulators ordered Avandia withdrawn from the market.

Copyright © 2011 Dow Jones Newswires