Tuesday, March 6, 2007

New Jersey Judge Declines to Overturn Phase I Jury Vioxx Verdict

Article in the Wall Street Journal -- New Jersey Judge Denies Plaintiff 'Do Over' Motion in Vioxx Trial, by the Associated Press.  Here's an excerpt:

The judge presiding over a Vioxx personal injury trial in Atlantic City on Monday rejected a motion to give one of the two plaintiffs a second shot at winning damages from drug maker Merck & Co.

The jury on Friday ruled that Merck was not negligent in the case of Brian Hermans of Waupaca, Wis., who died at age 44 after a September 2002 heart attack. That meant his family could not collect damages.

However, the jury did find that Merck violated New Jersey's consumer fraud law, so Mr. Hermans' family could recoup three times what he paid for Vioxx prescriptions, plus about $2 million in costs and fees his lawyer requested.

The lawyer, Mark Lanier, late Friday asked Superior Court Judge Carol Higbee to overturn the jury's ruling that Merck wasn't negligent in the Hermans' case. Mr. Lanier argued Mr. Hermans had started taking Vioxx before April 2002, when Merck put a stronger warning about the drug's cardiac risks in the detailed package insert, and he hadn't seen his doctor since then. Judge Higbee rejected the motion Monday.



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