Most Of These Product Liability Cases Allege Fosamax Caused Drug-Induced Osteonecrosis Of The Jaw (ONJ)
(Posted by Tom Lamb at DrugInjuryWatch.com)
According to an August 14, 2008 "MERCK & CO: Faces 655 Product Liability Cases Over Fosamax Drug", published by Lloyds Corporate Litigation Reporter:
Merck & Co., Inc., as of June 30, 2008, faced approximately 655 product liability cases involving Fosamax drug, including about 1,120 plaintiff groups, which had been filed and were pending against the Company in either federal or state court.
As background, a Fosamax multidistrict litigation (the Fosamax MDL) was created by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) in August 2006, and assigned to Judge John Keenan in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY).
By operation of the Fosamax MDL, Judge Keenan is presiding over the coordinated pre-trial proceedings for all Fosamax lawsuits that have been filed in the federal court system.
Additional Fosamax lawsuits have been filed against Merck in New Jersey state court, as well as other state court systems around the country.
To date, most of these product liability cases filed against Merck allege the drug company failed to warn sufficiently that its osteoporosis drug Fosamax can cause bisphosphonates-induced osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ).
As with the Vioxx litigation, Merck is vowing to fully defend itself in the Fosamax litigation. According to the August 14 Lloyds Corporate Litigation Reporter article:
As of Dec. 31, 2007, the Company had a remaining reserve of approximately US$27 million solely for its future legal defense costs for the Fosamax Litigation. During the first quarter of 2008, the Company spent approximately US$7 million and added US$40 million to its reserve. In the second quarter, the Company spent approximately US$10 million.
As of June 30, 2008, the Company had a reserve of approximately US$50 million.
We will continue to monitor the Fosamax litigation for developments in the federal court MDL as well as the in the various state courts where Fosamax lawsuits have been filed.