WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J.– LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire –Merck & Co., Inc. said today that the jury in the product liability case of Kozic v. Merck found in favor of Merck, rejecting a claim that the Company was liable for plaintiff Refik Kozic’s heart attack. Mr. Kozic alleged that he used VIOXX® for approximately nine weeks before suffering his heart attack in April 2001 at 50.
“We believe the evidence showed that Merck acted responsibly and that VIOXX was not the cause of Mr. Kozic’s heart attack,” said Mike Brock of Rushton, Stakely, Johnston & Garrett, P.A., based in Montgomery, Ala., outside counsel for Merck. “We believe that Mr. Kozic’s longstanding cardiovascular disease caused his heart attack.”
The evidence showed that Mr. Kozic had significant atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease in the vessels that supply blood to the heart, including the vessel where the heart attack actually occurred. Mr. Kozic had high cholesterol and other risk factors that contributed to the progression of his disease over a long period of time.
Florida Circuit Court Judge William P. Levens presided over the case. This was the first VIOXX case in Florida to go to trial.
In addition to Mr. Brock, Merck was represented by Patricia E. Lowry and John B.T. Murray of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP based in West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Eva Esber of Williams & Connolly LLP based in Washington, D.C.
Status of Litigation
Juries have now decided in favor of Merck 11 times and in plaintiffs’ favor five times. There have been two mistrials and a federal judge set aside one of Merck’s 11 verdicts. For information regarding additional cases scheduled for trial visit http://www.merck.com/newsroom/vioxx.
Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Established in 1891, Merck currently discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and medicines to address unmet medical needs. The Company devotes extensive efforts to increase access to medicines through far-reaching programs that not only donate Merck medicines but help deliver them to the people who need them. Merck also publishes unbiased health information as a not-for-profit service. For more information, visit http://www.merck.com.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management’s current expectations and involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. The forward-looking statements may include statements regarding product development, product potential or financial performance. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Merck’s business, particularly those mentioned in the risk factors and cautionary statements in Item 1A of Merck’s Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, and in its periodic reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K, which the Company incorporates by reference.