Monday, April 25, 2005

Alabama Vioxx Case: PAC donated to Judge's campaign

From various sources including MSN,, AP:

The judge handling the first trial over the pain reliever Vioxx received $60,000 in campaign contributions last year from political action committees funded by the law firm that filed the lawsuit.

According to the Associated Press' review of campaign finance reports, it found six PACs funded entirely by the Beasley Allen law firm contributed $35,000 directly to Circuit Judge John Rochester's unsuccessful campaign for the Alabama Supreme Court in 2004. In addition, five more PACs funded entirely by the Beasley gave $25,000 to Rochester's campaign, routing it through another PAC.

The Beasley Allen firm represents Cheryl Rogers, whose husband it is alleged died as a result of taking Vioxx.

Judge Rochester plans to hold a hearing the week of April 25, 2005 on Merck's Motion for Summary Judgment.

Rochester, in an interview Friday with the AP, said state judicial rules prohibit him from talking about a pending case, but donations from any source do not influence him. Merck lawyers have not filed any objection with Rochester about the donations.