[JURIST] An Alabama Circuit Court refused Friday to dismiss the first wrongful-death suit brought against Merck for their painkiller Vioxx. Merck pulled Vioxx from the market when a study found it to double the chances of heart attacks and strokes in patients who took the drug more than 18 months. The suit is brought by Cheryl Rogers, the widow of a Vioxx user who claims that the use of the drug killed her husband. Merck [corporate website] sought to dismiss the case because the samples of Vioxx brought in by Rogers were shipped from the company six months after her husband's death. Judge John Rochester rejected Merck's argument and will hold a hearing to push back the trial date. The Alabama trial date is set for May 23rd, but will be postponed so as not to conflict with federal litigation [official Vioxx liability litigation website] over the drug. AP has more. JURIST's Paper Chase has background.