Plaintiff Wins Final Bellwether Fosamax Trial -Merck Hit With $285,000 Verdict

Merck & Co., the manufacturers of the popular osteoporosis drug Fosamax, suffered a defeat during the last bellwether trial in multidistrict litigation alleging that Fosamax causes jaw bone deterioration.
 
Feb. 6, 2013 - PRLog -- Merck & Co., the manufacturers of the popular osteoporosis drug Fosamax, suffered a defeat during the last bellwether trial in multidistrict litigation alleging that Fosamax causes jaw bone deterioration.  The New York federal jury determined that the pharmaceutical giant failed to warn of the risks associated with Fosamax and ordered Merck to pay the Plaintiff, Rhoda Scheinberg, $285,000 in damages for her failure-to-warn claim. More than 4,000 lawsuits are pending in federal and state courts arising out of injuries caused by one of Merck’s best-selling medications.  However, with no other bellwether trials scheduled, plaintiffs’ counsel will soon ask the courts to begin the remand process and send the nearly 1000 federal court cases back to local venues.

   This trial was the last of the “bellwether” cases in the Fosamax jaw litigation.  Judges order bellwether trials in mass litigation cases to help determine outcomes in similar lawsuits. Plaintiff’s counsel was pleased with the verdict, as it was one of the cases chosen by Merck to be tried. Plaintiff’s jaw problems were less severe than others and she started using the drug after a 2005 label change that Merck claimed would survive any failure to warn challenges. Merck asked for a post-label change trial believing the label appropriately warned doctors of the risks associated with Fosamax. Apparently the jury felt otherwise and rejected Merck’s position.

   Merck’s other Fosamax bellwether loss came in June 2010 in the case of Shirley Boles who won an $8 million award against Merck, which was later reduced by the court to $1.5 million. The parties in lieu of holding another trial on damages later reached a confidential agreement.  There are another 842 Fosamax lawsuits against Merck alleging femur fracture injuries currently pending in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey. Trials alleging that Fosamax caused non-traumatic femur fractures are scheduled to start this spring.  Fosamax was a highly profitable drug for Merck with annual sales of $3 billion until its U.S. patent expired in 2008 wherein generic versions plummeted sales of Fosamax.

   
   If you or a loved one took Fosamax and has been diagnosed with osteonecrosis of the jaw or sustained a femur fracture contact the attorneys at Ennis & Ennis, P.A. for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights. Call toll free at 1-800-856-6405 or visit us on the web at www.ennislaw.com and fill out an online case evaluation form. Ennis & Ennis, P.A. is a nationwide law firm with offices in Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Washington D.C. that concentrates its practice in mass torts and represents individuals against pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers.

www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/05/merck-fosamax-idUSLiNOB515G20130205
http://www.law360.com/articles/412987/merck-loses-final-b...
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