Monday, December 3, 2007
Today’s National Law Journal reports "Vioxx Pact Isn’t the End—It’s a Beginning," (subscription required) and notes the number of foreign suits in Germany, Israel, and London. Here’s an excerpt:
While touted AS a virtual end to Vioxx litigation, the recent $4.85 billion settlement struck by Merck & Co. Inc. to resolve products liability claims does not get the pharmaceutical giant out of the woods. In reality, a number of lawsuits are still pending against Merck in both state and federal courts around the country. Other pending Vioxx actions include: suits brought by attorneys general in four states to recover Medicaid funds they paid for the drug; third-payor lawsuits filed by insurance companies; securities class actions brought against the directors on behalf of shareholders; and stock loss class actions on behalf of Merck's employees and unions. Houston-based plaintiffs' attorney Mark Lanier -- who has tried three major Vioxx cases in the United States -- noted that there are also foreign cases being filed in Germany, Israel and London. Lanier, of the W. Mark Lanier Law Firm in Houston, is a consultant on the German cases and estimates there could be several thousand.
If that wasn't enough, the settlement, which includes attorney fees, must be approved by 85% of stroke and heart attack victims -- and that's hardly a done deal.