Merck's Vioxx Trial Record to Date: One Victory, One Loss, One Draw
The Reuters news service reported at 10:00 a.m. EST Monday, December 12, 2005 that Judge Eldon Fallon declared a mistrial in Irvin / Plunkett v. Merck, the first federal lawsuit involving the painkiller Vioxx, after jurors said they remained deadlocked.
A nine-member jury had been deliberating since last Thursday, and had continued its work during a rare Saturday court session. After about 18 hours of deliberations over these three days, the jurors could not reach an unanimous verdict, as is required in a federal court lawsuit. This situation is commonly referred to as a "hung jury".
An online news alert issued by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) later in the morning reported:
The jury resumed what was to be its fourth day of deliberations Monday, but within about 20 minutes, U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon called the jurors in and reminded them they had agreed to reach a verdict in a "reasonable time."
"It has now been a reasonable time. We cannot get a verdict," Judge Fallon said, declaring a mistrial.
The WSJ news alert also reported that Judge Fallon would schedule the Irvin / Plunkett case for a new trial, which will be heard in New Orleans.
(Posted by: Tom Lamb)