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Location: Houston, Texas, United States

My name is David Stone. I live in Houston, Texas. I am a 30-something single white male. I am an Orthodox Christian and am a member of an English-language parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

Monday, December 12, 2005


The first Federal Vioxx trial has ended in a mistrial.

Here is an article from Bloomberg on today's development.

The common sentiment seems to be that a mistrial was bad news for Merck. As the article notes:

"The mistrial is not good news for Merck,'' said Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor who teaches product-liability and has been following the Vioxx litigation. "Most people thought Merck was going to win this one.''

The article continues:

"A second victory would have bolstered Merck's argument that Vioxx didn't harm short-term users and reduced pressure on it to settle about 7,000 Vioxx suits."

Much mention has also been made of this recent editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine concerning the VIGOR study and whether it might have influenced the non-sequestered jury.

The article also notes that:

"A single juror refused to go along with other panelists voting in the drugmaker's favor, one juror told the Associated Press."

Most legal analysts had indeed expected a win for Merck in Federal court. As in the last trial some jurors evidently found that the decedent simply had too many other risk factors for heart attacks.

The article also makes mention of the fact that Dr. Eric Topol, an expert witness for the plaintiffs in this case, was relieved of some of his positions at the Cleveland Clinic shortly after his testimony.

The next scheduled Vioxx trial will take place February 23rd in New Jersey State court. The New Jersey trial will be a consolidated trial involving two different plaintiffs who suffered non-fatal heart attacks after taking Vioxx for longer than 18 months. The New Jersey trial will also likely see the reappearance of Mark Lanier who represents one of the two men.


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