Law Firm Responds To Court Decision In Merck Ruling Giving Rise To Vioxx Consumer Fraud Claims

LAWFUEL – Class Action Law News

NEW YORK, Sept. 6, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) — The New Jersey Supreme
Court today issued a decision reversing the March 31, 2006 decision of
the New Jersey Appellate Division, which had upheld a decision
certifying a Vioxx-related nationwide consumer fraud class action
against Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK), brought on behalf of third-party
payors by Seeger Weiss LLP, a nationally-recognized complex class
action firm. The Court concluded that certification of the class,
consisting of all non-governmental health plans that paid for members’
Vioxx prescriptions, was not appropriate and that claims relating to
Merck’s deceptive marketing and sale of Vioxx should be pursued by
other means. The suit asserts claims against Merck under the New Jersey
Consumer Fraud Act to recover losses incurred by the health plans for
covering prescriptions for the now-withdrawn painkiller. On July 29,
2005, the New Jersey Superior Court had granted a motion by the class
representative, a labor union health plan, to allow the lawsuit to
proceed as a nationwide class-action, based on allegations that Merck
engaged in widespread and systematic concealment of information
concerning the serious health risks of Vioxx.

Counsel for Local 68, Christopher A. Seeger, stated: “Although we
respectfully disagree with the Court’s conclusion, we are pleased that
our client’s substantive claims are preserved. Importantly, the Court’s
ruling gives us the green light to pursue these claims for Local 68 and
other victimized entities in New Jersey State Court. The decision today
should be viewed as a clarion call to all of the institutions and
entities that were harmed by Merck’s wrongdoing in the promotion and
marketing of Vioxx between 1999 and 2004. Merck has chosen to fight
these consumer fraud claims in individual battles. Notably, four of the
five New Jersey juries hearing plaintiffs’ Consumer Fraud Claims
relating to Merck’s marketing of Vioxx have held Merck accountable for
consumer fraud. This bodes well for the claims that the health plans
are now free to pursue individually in New Jersey. As lead counsel that
has shepherded these individual and institutional claims from their
inception and pursued them in the trial and appellate courts, we stand
ready to fight on this battleground.”

More information on this and other class actions can be found on the
Class Action Newsline at

CONTACT: Seeger Weiss LLP
Christopher A. Seeger, Esq.
[email protected]
David R. Buchanan, Esq.
[email protected]
(212) 584-0700
Toll Free: (877) 539-4125
One William Street
New York, NY 10004

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