December 15, 2006
Merck wins Alabama Vioxx case
Alabama state court jurors ruled in Merck’s favor Friday, rejecting the claims of a plaintiff who blamed the drugmaker’s withdrawn painkiller Vioxx for his heart attack in 2001. The verdict marks the second time in three days that a jury has sided with Merck in a trial over Vioxx. A federal court in New Orleans ruled in favor of Merck Wednesday. “Juries continue to determine that Merck acted responsibly in its research of Vioxx and provided the appropriate information about Vioxx to patients and the medical community,” Merck EVP and general counsel Kenneth Frazier said in a statement. Attorneys for the plaintiff in the latest case, 57-year-old Chelsea, Ala. resident Gary Albright, told jurors he should receive as much as $5.75 million in his lawsuit filed last year. But jurors speaking with attorneys and reporters in the courtroom after the verdict said Albright had too many health problems before his heart attack to blame Vioxx, according to a report at WSJ.com. Merck has won four federal cases involving Vioxx and lost one. In state courts, the drugmaker has now won four cases and lost three. A case in New Jersey has been ordered to retrial after jurors sided with Merck.