Defense Lawyers Contend Scheinberg Trial Jury Acted Irrationally Because No Rational Juror Could Find The Fosamax Label Was Inadequate As Regards The Osteonecrosis of Jaw Side Effect Risk
UPDATE: "Merck Can't Duck Jury Award In Fosamax Bellwether Suit" (7/1/13, Law360)
A New York federal judge on Monday denied Merck & Co. Inc.'s attempt to wipe out a $285,000 plaintiff verdict in a bellwether trial in multidistrict litigation claiming the bone drug Fosamax causes jaw deterioration, rejecting its argument that its warning was adequate....
In early February 2013 we learned that the Fosamax trial Scheinberg v. Merck & Co Inc (U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York) resulted in a $285,000 jury verdict against Merck. This Scheinberg lawsuit was part of the federal court Fosamax - ONJ MDL litigation, with U.S. District Judge John Keenan presiding.
As background, Plaintiff Rhoda Scheinberg used Fosamax from approximately October 2000 through approximately September 2006 and was later diagnosed with osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ).
Some four months later, in late June 2013, lawyers for Merck were back before Judge Keenan asking that this jury verdict for the Fosamax - ONJ plaintiff be disregarded and the damages award be set aside.
Strictly Confidential, No Obligation.
From a June 20, 2013 Reuters news article by reporter Nate Raymond, "Fosamax ONJ Update: Merck asks judge to toss $285,000 Fosamax verdict" (accessed 6/20/13; paid subscription required now), we get these details:
A lawyer for Merck & Co Inc urged a federal judge on Wednesday to throw out a $285,000 jury verdict in a trial over the osteoporosis drug Fosamax.
Paul Strain, of the law firm Venable, said no rational jury could find that the Fosamax label failed to adequately warn plaintiff Rhoda Scheinberg's doctors of the risks of developing a bone disease called osteonecrosis of the jaw.
But U.S. District Judge John Keenan seemed to be skeptical that Merck had given him enough of a reason to overcome the "high bar" of setting aside the verdict.
"The idea of setting aside a jury verdict is serious business," Keenan said....
In February, an eight-person jury found Merck failed to warn Scheinberg's physicians about Fosamax's risks. The jury rejected her claims that Fosamax was defective.
In March, Merck moved to have Keenan enter a judgment as a matter of law in its favor. It argued no reasonable juror could find Merck didn't warn doctors of "the precise malady" alleged by Scheinberg.
That same Reuters article also informs, "According to the most recent statistics, 977 cases are pending before Keenan in New York related to jaw-related injuries allegedly caused by Fosamax."______________________________________________________________________________