For the tens of thousands who were injured after taking the pain-reliever Vioxx, a settlement without a trial may not be out of the question. As the number of Vioxx-related lawsuits jumps daily, drug manufacturer Merck may consider offering settlements to plaintiffs in specific cases, said the company’s attorneys yesterday.
Merck’s general counsel said they do not plan to offer plaintiffs’ lawyers an overall settlement of Vioxx suits but would consider settling suits brought by people who took Vioxx for long periods of time and had few other risk factors.
Last week a jury ruled against Merck and awarded $253.5 million to a Texas widow who lost her 59-year-old marathon runner husband to a cardiovascular event after taking Vioxx. After the ruling, Merck insisted that they would continue to fight every Vioxx case and would not settle. With more than 5,000 Vioxx cases already filed and cases estimated to reach the 50,000 mark, Merck’s decision is considered a shift in tactical strategy for the drug maker.
For more information about Vioxx, visit our Vioxx Legal Center.