The less publized, but equally importaant, second Vioxx trial commenced this week in NJ, with plaintiff counsel, Chis Seeger of Seeger Weiss, laying the ground work for causation in his clients suit against Merck.
The plaintiff, Frederick Humeston of Boise, Idaho didn't smoke and didn't suffer from heart disease, obesity or diabetes before his heart attack in September of 2001. The MD, Doctor Gregory Lewer described the plaintiff as "vigorous and active" prior to his heart attack according to transcripts of his testimony, but said he has been slowed down by the heart attack since. The doctor, who it should be noted is a friend of the plaintiffs, had treated Mr. Humeston for 15 year prior to his heart attack.
Also of interest is this case apparently has a very tough judge in Judge Carol Higbee. She has already admonished defense counsel twice for ignoring pre-trial instructions, particularly her instructions barring comments about plaintiff lawyers. Judge Higbee actually threatend to call a mistrial after Attorney Sullivan had commented that Mr. Humeston was "surround by lawyers" according to an account in the Friday Wall Street Journal story.
This will be a fascinating trial and we at the Settlement Channel will, starting next week, have in court observers reporting on it's progress, so be sure to check back daily as to what news comes out of each day's testimony.