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July 14, 2006

Merck Wins Vioxx Round 7

A New Jersey jury returned a verdict for Merck in another case alleging that Vioxx contributed to the plaintiff's heart attack.  The trial was the first in which a jury was presented with the question of whether Merck failed to adequately warn consumers of Vioxx risks.  Elaine Doherty claimed that her use of Vioxx over 2 1/2 years was a major cause of a mild heart attack that she suffered in January 2004 and that Merck had failed in its duty to warn her.  Merck countered that Doherty's own cardiac risk factors - including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol - caused her heart attack.  The jury concluded that, while Doherty herself had not been warned, Merck had adequately warned her doctor.  The jury also found that Merck had not violated New Jersey's consumer fraud law and had not concealed information about the drug's cardiovascular risks.

This was the fourth case to be tried to a verdict in New Jersey and the third in which Merck has prevailed.  See Linda Johnson's story for the Associated Press.

JDP

July 14, 2006 | Permalink

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