Friday, June 1, 2007
The wrongful death case of Plunkett v. Merck simply won't end. The first Vioxx case to go to trial in federal court, it resulted in a hung jury in 2005. At the retrial in 2006, Merck won an important defense victory. But two days ago, Judge Fallon granted a new trial based on the revelation that one of Merck's expert witnesses had misrepresented his qualifications. Here's an excerpt from the story in the Houston Chronicle by Janet McConnaughey of AP -- Judge Orders New Vioxx Trial:
A federal judge has ordered a third trial in a lawsuit by a woman who blamed Merck & Co.'s painkiller Vioxx for the heart attack that killed her husband. A cardiologist who testified for Merck misrepresented his qualifications in the second trial last year, U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon ruled. Jurors in that trial ruled in favor of Merck and against Evelyn Irvin Plunkett, whose first husband, Richard "Dickie" Irvin, died of a heart attack after taking Vioxx for less than a month.