NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Aug. 17 LAWFUEL – Legal News Network — Today a unanimous
eight-man jury in New Orleans rendered a $51,000,000 verdict against Merck & Co., Inc., and its drug Vioxx.
This lawsuit arises out of Gerald Barnett’s use of Vioxx. Barnett, a 62 year-old retired Special Agent of the FBI, took Vioxx continuously for
approximately 55 months for pain from osteoarthritis. Vioxx is manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc., the defendant in the case. Mr. Barnett was
represented by lead trial counsel Mark Robinson, Jr. of the law firm
Robinson, Calcagnie & Robinson in Newport Beach, California. Robinson was
assisted by co-counsel Andy Birchfield and Don Arbitblit.
While taking Vioxx, Gerald Barnett suffered from blood pressure spikes and rapid progression of atherosclerosis, culminating in a heart attack on September 6, 2002. Vioxx is a drug known to cause an increase in
cardiovascular events and was withdrawn from the market in September 2004
after Merck’s study APPROVe showed more cardiovascular events on Vioxx as
compared to placebo. Evidence also shows that Vioxx can accelerate the
progression of atherosclerosis, leading to serious heart disease.
In this lawsuit, Barnett sought compensatory damages proximately caused by his injuries. Barnett alleged that Merck should be held liable because
it placed Vioxx on the market with inadequate warnings. In addition,
Barnett alleged that Merck deceived his physicians by concealing the safety and effectiveness of Vioxx.
As a result of his heart attack, Gerald Barnett underwent 5-way bypass surgery in September 2002. Since that time, Barnett has suffered a
re-occlusion of his vein grafts, requiring him to undergo angioplasty and
stent placement in July 2006. As part of his damages, Barnett made claims
for pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses and loss of life
Mr. Barnett has been happily married to his wife Corinne for 34 years, and they live in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.