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August 31, 2006

$50 Million Compensatory Award in Vioxx Case Gets Tossed

A federal judge has ruled that the $50 million compensatory damages award in a Vioxx case was "grossly excessive" and has ordered a new trial on the damages issue.  A $1 million punitive damages award was also overturned.  The judge said that no reasonable jury could have found the effects on the plaintiff, who had suffered a heart attack after 2-1/2 years' use of the drug, to entitle him to $50 million in compensatory damages.  The judge observed that past and future medical costs, pain and suffering and other intangible losses are all legitmate reasons for compensatory damages.  However, since the plaintiff was retired, lost wages and earning capacity were not legitimate considerations in the damages award.  See Janet McConnaughey's story for the Associated Press.

JDP

August 31, 2006 | Permalink

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