Vioxx Patient Injury Class Action Lawsuit

Result: $4.85 billion settlement
Year: 2007

In re Vioxx Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 1657 (E.D. La.).

Lieff Cabraser represented patients that suffered heart attacks or strokes, and the families of loved ones who died, after having being prescribed the arthritis and pain medication Vioxx. In individual personal injury lawsuits against Merck, the manufacturer of Vioxx, our clients allege that Merck falsely promoted the safety of Vioxx and failed to disclose the full range of the drug’s dangerous side effects.

In April 2005, in the federal multidistrict litigation, the Court appointed Elizabeth J. Cabraser to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, which has the responsibility of conducting all pretrial discovery of Vioxx cases in Federal court and pursuing all settlement options with Merck.

In August 2006, Lieff Cabraser was co-counsel in Barnett v. Merck, tried in the federal Court in New Orleans. Lieff Cabraser attorneys Don Arbitblit and Jennifer Gross participated in the trial, working closely with attorneys Mark Robinson and Andy Birchfield. The jury reached a verdict in favor of Mr. Barnett, finding that Vioxx caused his heart attack, and that Merck’s conduct justified an award of punitive damages.

In November 2007, Merck announced it had entered into an agreement with the executive committee of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee as well as representatives of plaintiffs’ counsel in state coordinated proceedings. Merck paid $4.85 billion into a settlement fund for qualifying claims.

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