As all Vioxx users have been aware over the last year of so there has been a class action suit against the makers of Vioxx because of the inadequate testing or reporting of risks associated with Vioxx. Well the case has not concluded with almost 5 Billion dollars going to those that have suffered from the arthritis pain killer drug.
Merck & Co. said Friday it will pay $4.85 billion to end thousands of lawsuits over its painkiller Vioxx in what is believed to be the largest drug settlement ever.
The deal becomes binding only if 85 percent of all plaintiffs in about 26,600 lawsuits agree to drop their cases. It was finalized in the early morning hours after attorneys for Merck and the plaintiffs met with three of the four judges overseeing nearly all Vioxx claims.
According to the review of this on www.injurylawpalmbeach.com, its clear that, Merck faced personal injury lawsuits representing 47,000 plaintiffs, and about 265 potential class action cases, filed by people or family members who claimed the drug proved fatal or injured its users. The agreement covers cases filed in both federal and state courts.
Negotiating teams met more than 50 times in eight states and spoke hundreds of times over the telephone to hammer out the deal, according to attorneys.
‘I’m very happy with it,’ Chris Seeger, one of the six plaintiff lawyers who helped negotiate the settlement, said Friday. ‘It’s a tremendous way to resolve this litigation.’
Merck pulled Vioxx from the market Sept. 30, 2004 after its own research determined the then-blockbuster painkiller doubled risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Seeger said the deal was put in motion last December when three key judges pushed the parties to open out-of-court talks.
‘Every claimant is going to be compensated’ once their claim is validated, he said.
Seeger believes it is the largest settlement ever in the industry and said he will recommend that his 2,000 clients accept the deal.
Merck could put the uncertainty of millions of dollars in possible settlements that have plagued the pharmaceutical company behind it, though it has been fairly successful fighting cases individually, winning 10 of 15 court verdicts to date.