Quoted from http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-rt-us-merck-fosamax-20130830,0,1627005.story
Hundreds of Fosamax lawsuits versus Merck ordered readied for trialNate Raymond Reuters
3:53 p.m. CDT, August 30, 2013
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge overseeing consolidated litigation against Merck & Co over jaw injuries allegedly caused by the osteoporosis drug Fosamax has ordered hundreds of cases be dispersed to courts across the country for trial.
The decision by U.S. District Judge John Keenan in Manhattan marks an unusual and potentially costly development for Merck.
Companies often find it easier to reach settlements in mass tort cases that are consolidated before one judge.
"It's a big deal as it changes the cost paradigm for Merck exponentially," said Timothy O'Brien, a partner at Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty & Proctor and lawyer representing Fosamax plaintiffs.
The judge's order Thursday requires that 200 cases per month be sent to back to courts where they were initially filed, beginning with the oldest ones.
Lainie Keller, a spokeswoman for Merck, said the company "is committed to defending its conduct in regard to Fosamax and has confidence in its defense strategy that has had so much success in the courts."