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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).

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Vioxx Claims Deadline Extended

From the Houston Chronicle:

March 25, 2008, 5:43PM
Vioxx Deadline Extended
Associated Press Writer

NEW ORLEANS — People who think their heart attacks or strokes were caused by the once-popular painkiller Vioxx and want early partial payments now have another month to file paperwork backing up their claims under a settlement with manufacturer Merck & Co.

Claims are still coming in to BrownGreer PLC, the Richmond, Va., law firm appointed to administer them, Merck lawyer Doug Marvin said Tuesday. And, he told U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon, some law firms _ especially those with many clients registered for the settlement _ are still working on claims.

Merck has agreed to put off the claims deadline from March 31 until May 1, he said. The deadline remains July _ and possibly as late as October _ for those who don't want an early partial payment.

Robert Johnston, whom Fallon appointed to help people who have chosen to act as their own attorneys, said his office sent letters last week to 314 who had not yet filed required papers, and was sending "another 900-some" letters this week.

As of Monday, 58,571 people were listed as wanting to join the settlement, Orran Brown of BrownGreer told Fallon. However, he said, 8,690 weren't eligible because they claim Vioxx caused a medical problem other than stroke or heart attack, the conditions covered by the settlement announced in November 2007.

He said at least some paperwork had been filed by Monday for 50,004 claims. But 3,720 were ineligible because they want compensation for "other injuries," leaving 46,284 eligible.

He also explained a private Web site set up by his firm to let attorneys see what paperwork has arrived for each client, whether it is complete _ and, if not, what is needed. The site also includes a spreadsheet to calculate claims from the dates for and number of pills in a plaintiff's Vioxx prescriptions and free samples.

Each law firm can see only information for its own clients, and people representing themselves can see only their own information, he told Fallon.

Brown said about 49,000 people had been found potentially eligible, and more than 46,000 of them have sent in at least some of the required documents.

Those include authorization to check their medical records, an agreement to drop all claims against Merck, and a signed list of the specific claims being dropped. People who want "extraordinary injury payments" also must agree to let attorneys check their employment records.



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