March 5, 2007
Mixed Results for Merck in Vioxx Case
A New Jersey jury found that Merck was negligent and failed to adequately warn prescribing physicians in the case of one former Vioxx user who alleged that she suffered a heart attack as a result of using the prescription painkiller. The causation and damages phase of the trial begins today for this plaintiff. However, the jury ruled against the second plaintiff in the same trial, deciding that Merck was not negligent in marketing the drug but had violated the state's consumer fraud statute. This means that this second plaintiff can, at best, recoup three times the cost of the Vioxx prescriptions. Merck had strengthened its Vioxx warnings between the time the first plaintff used the drug and the second plaintiff's use. This apparently made the critical difference to the jury on the negligence and inadequate warnings claims. Prior to this trial, Merck had won eight and lost four Vioxx cases. Another case ended in a mistrial. See Linda Johnson's story for The Associated Press.
March 5, 2007 | Permalink
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