NJ Vioxx case, is Merck doing a better job this time around?

It is generally acknowledged that the attorney for the plaintiff in the Humeston v Merck case in NJ, Chris Seeger is doing a very solid job of laying out his case. However, it is becoming clear that Merck has revamped their legal strategy, reworked how they are handling witnesses and key points, and are doing a substantially better job on this case then the Texas case in which they were crushed by plaintiffs counsel on what was a dicey causation case according to all experts.

The respective strategies are playing out in a real counter punching style, and as of now, according to my friends who are in the court room, no one has a clear advantage, although the fundamentals of Merck's position on the marketing and hiding of statistical data is very damning. The facts will win or lose this case, not legal errors by either team in strategy and style, according to my observers, and if the facts are against Merck again, they are going to continue to be against them in case after case.

I still think the strategy of fighting every case, one case at a time is suicide, and if management had been bold enough to admit error, create a settlement fund and avoid litigation the cost would have ultimately been cheaper and the stock wouldn't be languishing where it is now.

Stay tuned.  

Posted on September 27, 2005 .