A jury found Merck guilty of not properly warning patients about the dangers of its drug Vioxx and guilty of causing the heart attack in plaintiff John McDarby. The jury awarded $3 million in compensatory damages to Mr. McDarby and an additional $1.5 million to his wife.
Mr. McDarby suffered a heart attack after taking Vioxx continuously for 48 months.
For misleading doctors about the risks of Vioxx, the jury also found Merck guilty of consumer fraud and awarded Mr. McDarby an additional $12,000, triple the amount he paid for his prescriptions of Vioxx. Merck is also required to pay some of Mr. McDarby’s lawyers’ fees.
Merck took Vioxx off the market in 2004 when clinical trials proved the drug caused an increase risk of cardiovascular problems in people who took the drug for at least 18 months. At the end of 2005, an estimated 9,600 drug liability suits had been filed, representing 19,000 groups of plaintiffs. It has been estimated that as many as 100,000 people might have suffered heart attacks because of taking Vioxx.
For more information about Vioxx and other dangerous drugs, visit the Dangerous Drug Legal Center.