Merck Issues Its "No Liability" Press Release On First Day Of Trial; 1092 Fosamax Lawsuits Filed As Of June 2010
(Posted by Tom Lamb at DrugInjuryWatch.com)
UPDATE: Merck Not at Fault in Fosamax Trial, Jurors Say (New York Times, 11/19/10)
... As it deliberated Friday afternoon, the jury asked just one question of the judge — the date of the first medical journal report of a possible association between Fosamax and the rare jawbone problem, known as osteonecrosis or jawbone death, lawyers for both sides said Friday.
Because the first published report appeared in October of 2003, six months after Mrs. Graves’s condition became evident, the jury may have concluded that Merck could not possibly have known about such an association at the time of the plaintiff’s dental problems.
The trial for the federal court Fosamax MDL case Judith Graves v. Merck & Co., Inc. (No. 1:06-CV-05513-JFK) has started in New York, with Judge John F. Keenan presiding.
This Graves case is just one of the hundreds of Fosamax osteonecrosis (ONJ) lawsuits that are part of In Re Fosamax Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1789, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan), and the third one to thus far to make it to trial. Two more federal court Fosamax-ONJ lawsuits are currently scheduled by Judge Keenan to go to trial in the spring of 2011.
On October 22, 2010 Judge Keenan issued his Opinion & Order concerning various pre-trial motions by made by Merck's lawyers, which ended as follows:
As discussed above, there are genuine and material lssues of fact in this case, and therefore Merck's motion for summary judgment is DENIED.
Additionally, for the reasons described above, Merck's motion to exclude unqualified expert testimony under Daubert GRANTED with respect to Drs. Adams, Akers, and Marx, and is DENIED with respect to Drs. Villaret and Cherry.
On October 28, 2010, the day that this Graves trial started, Merck issued a press release, "Statement on FOSAMAX® (alendronate sodium) Product Liability Trial in U.S. District Court", in which the drug company shunned any responsibility for the osteonecrosis (ONJ)which Judith Graves developed while using Fosamax. This Merck press release starts with a discussion of the Graves case and goes on to provide an update (of sorts) about the total number of Fosamax lawsuits filed against Merck:
Merck will vigorously defend itself in a jury trial set to begin today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The company believes the evidence will show that FOSAMAX did not cause the plaintiff to develop dental and jaw-related problems as she claims and that Merck provided appropriate and timely information about FOSAMAX to the medical, scientific and regulatory communities.
In Graves v. Merck, the plaintiff alleges she used FOSAMAX from 2001 to 2004. The plaintiff further alleges she suffered various jaw problems and complications following a tooth extraction in March 2003, including several surgeries to treat her condition....
As of June 30, 2010, approximately 1,092 cases, which include approximately 1,470 plaintiff groups, had been filed and were pending against Merck in either federal or state court.
According to the Pretrial Scheduling Order this Graves Fosamax MDL case, the trial should take about a two weeks, with the Plaintiff and the Defendant each having six trial days to present their respective case.
Be assured that we will report the jury verdict for this Graves v. Merck trial as soon as possible after it is announced in Judge Keenan's courtroom.
DrugInjuryLaw.com: Legal Information And News About Prescription Drug Side Effects
Drug Injury Case Evaluation - Free & Confidential