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Vioxx Lawsuit

Vioxx Lawsuit

A Brief Guide to Filing a Vioxx Lawsuit:

What are the Side Effects of Vioxx?

Vioxx, which was withdrawn from the U.S. market in 2004, belonged to a class of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The medication was effective by reducing substances that caused pain, fevers and inflammation in the body. The drug was ultimately withdrawn because of the following Vioxx side effects and subsequent Vioxx lawsuits:

• Vioxx side effects include Allergic reactions (difficulty breathing, swelling of the lips, tongue, face or hives)

• Abdominal pain, discomfort or tenderness were commonly observed as Vioxx side effects

• Nausea or Heartburn

• Skin rash or itching

• Unusual bleeding or bruising were commonly observed Vioxx side effects

• Swelling or Water Retention

• Blood in vomit is classified as severe Vioxx side effects

Vioxx FDA Warnings:

The United States Food and Drug Administration issued several request letters to sponsors of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs requesting that they affirm label changes to their products. These letters included proposed labeling for both the over-the-counter and prescription NSAID’s. All makers of these medications were urged to highlight the potential for increased risk of cardiovascular events and the potential life-threatening gastrointestinal bleeding associated with use.

Vioxx Legal History:

Intended to treat pain and osteoarthritis, Vioxx was withdrawn by its manufacturer Merck in 2004 due to increasing concerns over the drug's dangerous and fatal Vioxx side effects, including heart attacks and death. In response to the removal, over 10,000 people filed Vioxx lawsuits in hopes of securing a settlement for the development of severe Vioxx side efefcts. The vast majority of these Vioxx lawsuits are currently pending.

Because of the overwhelming number of claims, multidistrict litigation was enacted for Vioxx lawsuits. In this procedure, one federal court is responsible for hearing a number of similar Vioxx lawsuits. The District Court of New Orleans was appointed to oversee the hearing of every claim for a Vioxx settlement, as well as to oversee all other negotiations between Merck and claimants.

16 Vioxx lawsuits were attached to a voluntary compensation fund established by Merck. Of these 16 Vioxx lawsuits, the company was successful in defending 11 of them. Many of the plaintiffs filing Vioxx lawsuits claimed that use of the drug led to serious cardiovascular events including heart attacks.

In 2007, Merck established its intent to create a Vioxx settlement fund which claimants could voluntarily enroll in. A fund of $4.85 billion was established to compensate those patients filing Vioxx lawsuits for severe side effects. A three-stage process was used to establish the validity of of these Vioxx lawsuits. Each claim concerning Vioxx side effects was first reviewed by a court-appointed law firm, and then re-reviewed by a panel composed equally of Merck and plaintiff representatives. The process was then finalized by a nonbiased third-party appointed by the court. Disbursement of funds from the Vioxx settlement fund was concluded in 2010 when a total of 33,075 plaintiffs received compensation.

In 2011, the Justice Department announced that Merck had agreed to a $950 million Vioxx settlement in a consolidated civil and criminal Vioxx lawsuit. This Vioxx lawsuit did not relate to Vioxx side effects, but rather, illegal promotion. Additionally, fines were placed on the company for concealing knowledge of serious Vioxx side effects.

Because the bulk of Vioxx lawsuits has either been settled or dismissed, it will be difficult—at this time-- to secure compensation for a newly-filed Vioxx lawsuit. The statute of limitations for litigation concerning Vioxx side effects is certain has most likely expired in every state. However, if you wish to have an attorney evaluate your claims regarding Vioxx side effects, you are free to schedule a consultation.

The effects of Vioxx were astonishing—the United States Food and Drug Administration estimates that the drug has contributed to 27,785 heart attacks and cardiac deaths between 1999 and 2003.

Vioxx Famous Cases:

8/17/2006: A New Jersey court overturns a Merck victory by providing new evidence demonstrating Merck’s failure to report crucial heart attack data. On this same day, a federal jury in New Orleans ordered Merck to pay over $51 million to Gerald Barnett who had suffered a heart attack after 5 years of use.

8/3/2006: A California court sided with Merck when a group of plaintiffs attempted to collect compensation for linking heart attacks to VIOXX use.

7/27/2010: Merck established a $4.85 billion settlement fund to make payments to the families of 2,878 Vioxx users who suffered fatal heart attacks and 590 who died of strokes. Merck won 11 of the first 16 Vioxx suits at trial before agreeing to settle all claims in 2007. Of the 59,365, 1,343 were ruled ineligible, leaving over 58,000 potential claims. Roughly 25,000 of these claims resulted in no payment.









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