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.