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Home Industry News MSD wins Illinois Vioxx lawsuit

MSD wins Illinois Vioxx lawsuit

29th March 2007

Merck, Sharp and Dohme (MSD) has announced that a jury in Madison County, Illinois has found in favour of the firm in a product liability case claiming the firm was culpable for the death of a woman.

In the trial it was claimed that use of MSD’s Vioxx treatment had caused the death of 52-year-old Patricia Schwaller in 2003, with her estate being represented by widower Frank Schwaller.

The company reports that 4,025 cases involving Vioxx have been dismissed before trial since the end of last December, while in cases that have come to trial, juries have found in favour of MSD on ten occasions and in favour of plaintiffs on five occasions.

Dan Ball of Bryan Cave LLP, lead attorney for the company in this case, said: “The evidence showed that [MSD] acted responsibly and that Vioxx was not the cause of Mrs Schwaller’s sudden cardiac death.”

He added that the Mrs Schwaller was at risk from sudden cardiac death as a result of number of risk factors, including diabetes, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease and morbid obesity, with her death unconnected to her administration with Vioxx.

Earlier this month, MSD announced that it planned to appeal the verdict of a New Jersey state court jury which found in favour of Frederick Humeston, a man who alleged his heart attack had been caused by Vioxx.

The company claims that the unique two-phase, multi-plaintiff nature of the trial could have caused bias and confusion among the jury.

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