NJ Vioxx Judge wants next cases to be long term use.

Judge Carol Higbee apparently wants the next " 10 or more cases" to be plaintiffs that took Vioxx for long durations, generally considered to be 18 months or longer. This was reported in today's online Wall Street Journal. By the way, we have a lot of trial lawyers who read this blog who don't read the WSJ because it's some enemy propaganda sheet, but I do suggest you start keeping up with it as it is far and away the best reporter on drug and medical products liability issues, precisely because of what those liabilities mean to investors.

 As mentioned in the article, the judge appears to want to get a good handle on the long term vs short term cases, despite the fact it will be much tougher for Merck to defend long term. She is obviously trying to shape value on these case with an eye toward global settlement, now that it appears that short duration cases are winnable by Merck.

I would expect that after the next Vioxx case down in the MDL in Louisiana, which is short term use, 18 days of usage prior to cardiac event, that Judge Feldon will also look to put some long term use cases on the calendar to gauge the value of those.  

Posted on November 11, 2005 .