Merck’s Vioxx liability could reach $18 billion

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Analysts have estimated that Merck's potential liability could reach $18 billion in lawsuits over its withdrawn COX-2 drug Vioxx, according to a report in today's Wall Street Journal.
A federal judge in New Orleans told lawyers yesterday that there could ultimately be up to 100,000 cases filed against Merck and that he could hear a case as early as this fall, the Journal report said.
The first cases are set to be heard in state courts – Texas in July and New Jersey in August – with a case in Alabama currently postponed. 

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