Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Plaintiffs Having Difficulty in Vioxx Litigation Against Merck

Interesting article in the New York Times -- Plaintiffs Find Payday Elusive in Vioxx Cases, by Alex Berenson.  Thanks to Evan Anziska for pointing the article out.  Here's an excerpt:

[N]one of the 45,000 people who have sued Merck, contending that they or their loved ones suffered heart attacks or strokes after taking Vioxx, have received payments from the company. The lawsuits continue, for now in a state of legal limbo, with little prospect of resolution.

In combating the litigation, Merck has made an aggressive, and so far successful, bet that forcing plaintiffs to trial will reduce the number of Vioxx lawsuits and, ultimately, its liability.

Promising to contest every case, Merck has spent more than $1 billion over the last three years in legal fees. It has refused, at least publicly, to consider even the possibility of an overall settlement to resolve all the lawsuits at once.

The strategy’s successes, from the view of Merck and its shareholders, are clear. In the last year, the company has won most of Vioxx cases that have reached juries. Though its stock plunged immediately after the Robert Ernst verdict, it has since risen 80 percent, easily outpacing those of other big drug makers. And estimates of Merck’s ultimate liability, once as high as $25 billion, are now closer to $5 billion, said C. Anthony Butler of Lehman Brothers.

The article also features several comments from Professor Peter Schuck of Yale Law School.

BGS

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mass_tort_litigation/2007/08/plaintiffs-havi.html

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Comments

I see the way the system works,however am I the only one who has recorded a 5day heart attack.I feel like i,m already dead.Yes,5 days while taking the vioxx and exercising on my gymnac ball I fell,must have blacked out.Got up and felt like I sprained my left wrist.Well the next day I went for an X-ray,no problem there so I went home and treated my arm as if it were a sprain.Then still no chest pain 5 days later went to hospital and told it was a heart attack.Since my heart was checked out before all this occured,I never suspected this.30% of my heart is dead now thanks to this miracle drug. Guinea Pig

Posted by: Don D. | Jan 15, 2009 8:59:24 AM

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