August, 2005 – A Texas jury awarded $253.4 million to the widow of a man who had died in 2001 after taking VIOXX. It was reduced to $26 million by the Texas punitive damage caps. This was the first VIOXX verdict.
November, 2005 – A New Jersey jury cleared Merck of a heart attack sustained by someone who had taken VIOXX for about two months only.
February, 2006 – a New Orleans jury cleared Merck in the death of someone who took VIOXX for about one month.
April, 2006 – Two cases in New Jersey concluded. One jury awarded $13.9 million to a 77-year-old man who had a heart attack after four years of taking VIOXX. The same jury cleared Merck in the case of a 60-year-old who took VIOXX for nearly two years.
June, 2006 – The New England Journal of Medicine published a correction that had been issued by Merck, that changed the APPROVe study results. It stated that heart problem risks increased earlier than the 18 months previously stated.
July, 2006 – A New Jersey jury cleared Merck in the heart attack of a diabetic who had taken VIOXX for over two years.
August, 2006 – A California jury cleared Merck in the heart attack of a 71-year-old man
August, 2006 – A New Jersey judge overturned the November, 2005 verdict for Merck, on the basis that new information had come to light since then which warranted a new trial.
August, 2006 – A Louisiana jury ordered Merck to pay $51 million to a man who took VIOXX for two years, then had a heart attack and continued on VIOXX for about two more years. Later that month, a Federal judge ordered a new trial because that amount was “grossly excessive”.
March, 2007 – The jury in the new trial awarded $20 million in damages to this man in his new trial.
November, 2007 – In a class action suit on behalf of plaintiffs who suffered heart attacks or strokes after taking VIOXX, a settlement was reached in which Merck agreed to pay $4.85 billion, to be divided among the several thousand plaintiffs and their attorneys. Each claimant will receive an amount according to his or her medical records. This is the largest pharmaceutical settlement ever.
- Thousands of personal injury lawsuits were filed and many consolidated
- Discovery began in 2001 on consolidated cases
- Over 50 million pages of documents were produced and read
- Over 2005 depositions taken
- Thousands of motions filed
- Hundreds of cardiac experts were consulted, as well as medical experts in pharmacology and neurology
- Negotiating teams from each side met over 50 times and conducted several hundred conference calls
Part 3 of this VIOXX Saga will briefly discuss the medical risks and issues. Please contact us if you have taken VIOXX and subsequently suffered a heart attack, stroke, or other life-threatening event. We will be glad to give you a free consultation.