Seeger Weiss Blog
Seeger Weiss Blog: Legal News and Analysis

Category : Vioxx

Which Is Worse, Vioxx Or Avandia?

January 18th, 2011

From Forbes:

This is more than just a race to see whether Merck or Glaxo gets hit with the biggest legal settlement for its controversial drug. The two companies had radically different defense strategies, and the cost of those strategies will determine how the next drug safety crisis is handled.

Although Merck tried to argue away the Vioxx result for years, it did an abrupt about-face when clinical trials didn’t go its way. Then it fought every single case that came its way, fiercely. Glaxo denied the problems and kept selling Avandia until regulators put restrictions on the drug, which allowed it to book billions of dollars in additional sales.

Efficiency in Vioxx litigation unprecedented

November 16th, 2010

From the American Lawyer:

[Fallon] heaped praise on the plaintiffs lawyers who led the Vioxx litigation, noting that in 31 months the parties were able to reach a global settlement and provide benefits to 32,886 claimants, out of a pool of 49,893 eligible and enrolled claimants. “[That] efficiency is unprecedented in mass tort settlements of this size,” Fallon wrote. “Counsel met and exceeded this court’s desire for expedited resolution of this matter.”

The judge enumerated accomplishments of the lead plaintiffs lawyers: “Following the formal appointment of the PLC and the [Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee], the attorneys committed to intensive discovery and pretrial efforts. The PSC operated on many fronts, preparing pleadings and master class action complaints, taking over 2,000 depositions, reviewing and compiling over 50,000,000 documents, briefing and arguing over 1,000 discovery motions, assembling a trial package, conducting bellwether trials, negotiating the global settlement agreement, and implementing the payout under the agreement. The time and labor expended in this effort is impressive.”

Seeger Weiss Rewind: Chris Seeger Discusses Vioxx on CNBC

October 6th, 2010

Eventually, Merck & Co., Inc. reported to the federal court charged with overseeing the $4.85 billion Vioxx settlement that more than 97 percent of eligible claimants have enrolled in the program and that qualified claimants will begin to receive interim settlement payments in August 2008. The settlement was expected to resolve nearly 50,000 lawsuits filed by thousands of plaintiffs who suffered heart attacks and strokes while taking Vioxx. Partner Chris Seeger, one of the lead negotiators of the settlement for plaintiffs, noted: “This is a great day for the plaintiffs injured by Vioxx who will within weeks begin to receive compensation for their injuries. On a personal and professional level, I couldn’t be happier for my clients.”

Seeger Weiss Rewind: Chris Seeger Discusses Vioxx on Bloomberg

October 5th, 2010

A jury in Atlantic County, N.J. eventually returned verdicts, awarding $20 million in compensatory damages and $27.5 million in punitive damages to plaintiff Frederick ‘Mike’ Humeston and his wife Mary against defendant Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) in the Vioxx-related personal injury trial entitled, Humeston v. Merck. The Humeston family was represented by Seeger Weiss LLP. The jury’s verdicts represent a total damages award against Merck of $47.5 million.

Doctor who faked favorable Vioxx research charged with fraud

January 21st, 2010
Merck Recalls Vioxx

Washington Post: Federal prosecutors announced Thursday that they have filed a health care fraud charge against a doctor accused of faking research for a dozen years in published studies that suggested after-surgery benefits from painkillers including Vioxx and Celebrex.

Court documents indicate that Dr. Scott Reuben, an anesthesiologist, has agreed to plead guilty in exchange for prosecutors recommending a more lenient sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and forfeiture of assets worth at least $50,000 that Reuben received for the research.

Prosecutors allege the former chief of acute pain at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield sought and received research grants from pharmaceutical companies but never performed the studies. He fabricated patient data and submitted information to anesthesiology journals that unwittingly published it, court documents allege.