Judge overturns Vioxx award vs Merck: WSJ

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal judge overturned a $50
million award handed down by jury against Merck & Co. earlier
this month in a case of a former FBI agent who had blamed the
withdrawn painkiller Vioxx for his heart attack, the Wall
Street Journal reported on its web site on Wednesday.

Merck did not immediately return phone calls seeking

A New Orleans jury in the federal trial had found that
Merck knowingly misrepresented or failed to disclose a material
fact regarding Vioxx safety to the plaintiff’s physician.

The jury on August 17 awarded 62-year-old Gerald Barnett
$50 million in compensatory damages and another $1 million in
punitive damages.

Merck, which pulled Vioxx from the market in September of
2004 after a study found the drug doubled the risk of heart
attack and stroke in long-term users, is facing more than
14,200 Vioxx product liability lawsuits.

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