LAWFUEL – Class Actions – On March 12, 2007, an Atlantic City, NJ jury unanimously awarded a $47.5 million verdict against Merck & Co. in its most recent Vioxx trial. Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C. congratulates the plaintiffs, Frederick Humeston, and his wife, Mary, as well as the attorneys responsible for this great legal victory, Chris Seeger and the law firm of Seeger Weiss and Mark Lanier and the Lanier law firm.
The jury awarded $18 million in compensatory damages to Humeston for his heart attack, $2 million to his wife for loss of consortium and $27.5 million in punitive damages, finding that Merck acted recklessly in promoting its dangerous pain-reliever Vioxx. Humeston proved that Merck knew of Vioxx’s dangerous side effects, yet failed to warn prescribing physicians of those dangers. The jury also found that Merck committed consumer fraud by misrepresenting and omitting critical safety information about Vioxx.
“This verdict demonstrates, once again, that the public will not tolerate anything less than immediate and full disclosure by pharmaceutical companies of all known side effects associated with their medications,” said Robert Gordon of the Manhattan personal-injury law firm Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C. Gordon added, “We are confident that plaintiffs will continue to successfully prove that Vioxx played a significant contributing role in causing heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular injuries.” In April 2006, Robert Gordon, Jerry Kristal and Ellen Relkin secured a $13.5 million verdict against Merck for John McDarby, a wheelchair-bound diabetic who suffered a heart attack after taking Vioxx (case # ATL L 1296-05).
“This latest loss for Merck illustrates how its current strategy of litigating each and every one of the 27,000 pending Vioxx cases is financially irresponsible,” said Kristal. “Using even very conservative estimates, if plaintiffs are successful in only 30 percent of those cases, and compensatory verdicts fall only in the $ 5-to-10 million range, Merck will be obligated to pay between $40.5 billion and $81 billion in compensatory damages as well as additional punitive damages, billions of dollars in defense costs and fees/expenses assessed in the consumer fraud claims.”
Kristal said that despite Merck’s posturing, this case serves to reassure those who have been harmed by the pharmaceutical maker that justice will prevail and Merck will be held accountable for its actions.
People who have been injured after ingesting Vioxx or any other medication, can contact Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C. Interested parties should call the Client Relations department at 1 (800) 476-6070 or e-mail [email protected] Please also visit our website at www.weitzlux.comList your legal jobs on the LawFuel Network