Monday, March 26, 2007
The first Vioxx trial in Madison County, Illinois, is coming to a close. Newsday has the AP story on today's closing arguments:
Attorneys for a widower who claims the painkiller Vioxx contributed to his wife's 2003 death urged jurors on Monday to punish the maker of the once-blockbuster drug for allegedly failing to adequately warn consumers about potentially deadly side-effects. During closing arguments, Mikal Watts argued that Merck & Co. ignored or stifled credible warnings that Vioxx could cause cardiovascular problems, including warnings that came well before Patty Schwaller collapsed and died of a heart attack after taking Vioxx for about 20 months. ...
Schwaller -- who died suddenly Aug. 8, 2003 after returning home with groceries -- "shall not have died in vain," Watts told the Madison County jury in the Midwest's first trial involving Vioxx. Citing the company's own internal e-mails, Watts said Merck failed to adequately study Vioxx's possible side-effects on people at risk of heart disease and publicly downplayed worries by outside researchers that Vioxx could put users at greater risk of heart attacks or strokes. ...
Attorneys for Merck, based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., were expected to summarize their cases later Monday before jurors began deliberating.