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Weitz & Luxenberg client John McDarby, 77, and his wife were rewarded a $4.5 million dollar verdict and $9 million in punitive damages from a New Jersey jury in one of the first Vioxx trial cases against Merck.
“The verdict is a victory for the 100,000 Americans who had heart attacks from Vioxx,” said lawyer Robert Gordon. John McDarby, who suffers from diabetes, had a heart attack after taking Vioxx for four years. He was in his living room, and broke a hip as a result, leaving him dependent on a wheelchair and causing a marked decline in his health.
The jury has now determined that Merck should pay $9 million in punitive damages, bringing the total to $13.5 million. “This is a victory for the tens of thousands of doctors who were lied to by Merck about the dangers of Vioxx,” said Rob Gordon.
Attorney Jerry Kristal said: “This is a victory for all of the John and Irma McDarbys of the world, people who are taking medications every single day, who now have at least a chance of making sure that the companies that are making those medications are going to do the right thing.”
“Given that this was the first punitive damage trial in a pharmaceutical case in New Jersey since the legislature adopted the drug lobby’s special protective legislation, there was no legal precedent on how to address these key issues,” explains Weitz & Luxenberg attorney Ellen Relkin.
Weitz & Luxenberg is representing thousands of individuals who were affected by Vioxx.
W&L's Ellen Relkin, as lead counsel in the NJ Rejuvenate and ABG II hip stem litigation, played a key role in negotiating the more than $1 billion settlement. Most qualifying plaintiffs will receive $300,000 or more.
W&L helped negotiate one of the largest mass tort settlements in recent history. More than 300 W&L clients are part of the settlement. Claimants had recalled DePuy ASR hips implanted and removed prior to August 31, 2013.
I would like to thank the law firm of W&Land their whole staff for the excellent work you all did with the Baycol settlement. May the year… bring all of you good health and happiness and all the years to come.