Vioxx jury returns $9 million punitive award in NJ case

The jury which last week award $4.5 million in compensatory damages to the 77 year old man who had taken Vioxx for over 18 months prior to his heart attack, today awarded $9 million in punitive damages against Merck.

We will have a further analysis on Civil Action radio later this week, but this doubling of the amount awarded last week significantly raises the stakes, and the risk, for Merck on future similar cases. What is going to be fascinating is going to be the post verdict jury interviews for a glimpse into the thought process that went into these awards.

In a companion trial they awarded $45 to the other plaintiff, so how they arrived at these disparate results is going to be crucial in determining what cases to bring going forward.  

Posted on April 11, 2006 .