Vioxx Maker Merck Found Liable in $250 Million Lawsuit

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Information is provided for the recent court decision against Merck, the manufacturer of the arthritis medication Vioxx.

Just a few years ago, Vioxx was highly publicized to be somewhat of a miracle drug. In more recent months, Vioxx has been portrayed in a much different light.

A jury found Merck liable for the death of Robert C. Ernst On Friday, August 19, 2005. Mr. Ernst died in 2001 after taking Merck's painkiller Vioxx for eight months. The jury awarded $253.5 million to Carol Ernst, Mr. Ernst's widow. The huge award from the Vioxx trial will reduce to $26.1 million due to a Texas law on punitive damages. During the six-week Vioxx trial, jurors were reported to have said they concluded from the testimony and documents that Merck was long aware of Vioxx's potential heart risks but hid those risks from patients.

The financial effects of this Vioxx trial have been significant. Through their $253.4 million verdict, they hope to get the message across that consumers need safer drugs. Many more Vioxx law firms are following suit. Now, lawyers across the globe are preparing to take more clients through Vioxx litigation for financial settlements. It is reported that American research has estimated that more than 60,000 people may have died as a result of taking Vioxx - a death toll greater than American fatalities in the Vietnam war. Statistics such as these are staggering and have brought awarness to the situation.

In addition to pending civil cases, class action lawsuits are also a large part of Vioxx news. on July 29, 2005, when a New Jersey judge has ruled health plans that paid for members' Vioxx prescriptions can sue as a class to recover billions of dollars they spent on the recalled painkiller. Superior Court Judge Carol E. Higbee in Atlantic City granted a motion filed by a labor union health plan to allow a nationwide class-action lawsuit to proceed under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. Merck, based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., had opposed the motion, which was filed by the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 68 Welfare Fund. The union had sued Merck in early 2003, arguing that its health plan would not have covered Vioxx prescriptions but for Merck's deception about the risks of the drug, which cost several times as much as older, traditional anti-inflammatory medicines.

Due to the health and legal problems stemming from use of Vioxx, on September 30, 2004, Merck announced a Vioxx recall from all markets worldwide after a study confirmed that it increases the risk of serious cardiovascular events, including heart attack and stroke. Since Vioxx was introduced to the market in 1999, over 105 million prescriptions have been filled for about 20 million consumers in the United States. In other Vioxx news, it was reported that worldwide sales of Vioxx in 2003 were $2.5 billion.

There are legal actions which can be taken to protect your rights if a Vioxx death or Vioxx injury has affected you or anyone in your family. Contact a repuatable lawyer who has experience with Vioxx lawsuit and is current with Vioxx information. The law is on your side if you have experienced any pain or suffering due to this potentially dangerous drug.


LegalServicesInfo connects those who have been affected by defective products, with lawyers and lawfirms who specializes in product liability law. If you have been affected by Vioxx, you can get connected with a Vioxx lawyer, Vioxx Attorney or Vioxx law firm today.

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John Dalton
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