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Merck Picks Up Two Vioxx Wins

After last week's Vioxx double whammy delivered Merck & Co. two major setbacks in the courts, Ted Frank at Point of Law reports on two recent wins for the drug giant. In a trial scheduled to begin Sept. 11 in Atlantic City, Patricia Hatch -- who claimed free Vioxx samples given to her husband caused his heart attack -- decided to dismiss her case with prejudice. And in July, a Texas court dismissed Jame Miller's lawsuit after he failed to list the claim as an asset in his bankruptcy.

For anyone keeping score, Frank sums it up:

"Out of 22 cases resolved at the trial level to date, Merck has won thirteen by dismissal with prejudice, won four more at trial, and lost four at trial; a 22nd case, Humeston, was won by Merck at trial, but Judge Higbee granted a new trial (Aug. 17). (And one of the product liability jury wins still required Merck to pay a plaintiff $15 plus attorneys' fees on a consumer fraud theory.) About three hundred more cases have been dismissed without prejudice, and it's unclear how many of those plaintiffs will choose to refile within the statute of limitations."

The statute of limitations for many potential plaintiffs expires Sept. 30, Frank says, meaning "we are likely to see one last burst of filings in the next five weeks."

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on August 24, 2006 at 02:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (18)

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