Guest Author - Bonnie Sayers
This is major news being announced from Texas this afternoon. The jury deliberated for 10 hours to reach the decision that Merck is liable for the death of the man who died as a result of taking VIOXX. They found Merck guilty of negligence and malice. It has been mentioned repeatedly that this case was weak and not the strongest of the VIOXX cases. Many are speculating that the information that was allowed by the Coroner is what helped the jury decide the case.
It will be interesting to see the next case that is set to begin in New Jersey, where the headquarters of Merck is located. CNBC's The Closing Bell has been covering this news with Merck stock continuing to drop since the verdict was announced.
The State of Texas has a cap on punitive damages - so it is likely that the award amount will be lowered, but many say that the verdict will not be overturned.
Currently there are over four thousand cases awaiting trial against Merck in relation to VIOXX. In the coming days those case numbers could double! Legal analysts are predicting settlements from Merck on many of the pending cases.
On a personal note - Back in 1994/1995 when I was pregnant with Nicholas I was a temporary worker at Merck in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey - for seven months. Nicholas was born the day after I left for maternity leave.
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