Merck Verdict, $50,000,000 for the plaintiff

Yes you read correctly. $50 million in compensatory damages awarded in the recent Vioxx trial that just concluded in New Orleans as part of the consolidated cases being heard in front of Judge Eldon Fallon. $50 Million.

The jury is currently receiving instructions on the punitive damages phase and will begin deliberations this afternoon on what if any punitives should be awarded. Here is a copy of the juror form and questions.

Apparently the failure to notify issue has caught up with Merck on this case, and as I have warned repeatedly over the last year, the failure to settle these claims and structure a frame work for organizing levels of awards based on documented usage is going to drive up the cost of the eventual settlement directly. Juries can forgive a lot, but failing to tell attending cardiologists and physicians about the risk of a drug apparently isn't going to be one of them.

More to follow.  

Posted on August 17, 2006 .