In Opening Statements in the MDL Trial of Mr. Irvin, attorneys for the Plaintiff took a different tack - asserting that Merck pushed sales over the safety of Vioxx. This was a departure from the medical-heavy opening in the first trial (which ended in a mistrial).
In the first go round doctors told the seated jury why each thought Vioxx had caused the MI suffered by Irvin. Right out of the box medical testimony was presented as promised in opening.
This week, however, each witness called so far was employed in Merck's marketing or public relations department. Jan Weiner with Merck's public affairs department was asked why information about heart attacks was excluded from marketing materials.
The approach is similar to attorney Mark Lanier's approach in the first Vioxx trial - will it work? Stay tuned.