BREAKING NEWS ~ Federal jury finds Merck not liable in Vioxx case Jeannie Shawl at 5:58 PM ET
[JURIST] AP is reporting that a federal jury has cleared Merck [corporate website] of responsibility in the death of a Florida man who had taken the popular painkiller Vioxx [JURIST news archive]. The painkiller was recalled in 2004 after clinical tests showed that patients who use the drug for more than 18 months faced an increased risk of stroke and heart attack [FDA public health advisory].
The verdict comes in the first federal lawsuit [JURIST report; complaint] over Vioxx to go to trial; the case was initially declared a mistrial [JURIST report] in December when jurors could not agree on a verdict. In conflicting rulings at the state level last year, a Texas jury in August awarded a $253.4 million verdict [JURIST report] to the plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit, but a few months later, a New Jersey jury found that Merck was not liable [JURIST report] and that the company properly warned consumers about the risks associated with the drug.
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