From the July 2006 Release:
This update supplements information previously provided by the Company. Commencing with the Company's report on Form 10-Q for the first quarter of 2006, the Company generally intends to provide updates on VIOXX litigation through its periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Information regarding scheduled product liability trials in 2006 can be found at www.merck.com.
As previously disclosed, individual and putative class actions have been filed against the Company in state and federal courts alleging personal injury and/or economic loss with respect to the purchase or use of VIOXX. A number of these actions are coordinated in separate proceedings in a multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (the "MDL"), New Jersey state court, California state court, Texas state court and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As of June 30, the Company has been served or is aware that it has been named as a defendant in approximately 14,200 lawsuits, which include approximately 27,100 plaintiff groups alleging personal injuries resulting from the use of VIOXX, and in approximately 190 putative class actions alleging personal injuries and/or economic loss (all of the actions discussed in this paragraph are collectively referred to as the "VIOXX Product Liability Lawsuits").
Of these lawsuits, approximately 5,700 lawsuits representing approximately 16,100 plaintiff groups are or are slated to be in the federal MDL and approximately 7,100 lawsuits representing approximately 7,100 plaintiff groups are included in a coordinated proceeding in New Jersey Superior Court. In addition, as of June 30, approximately 5,800 claimants had entered into Tolling Agreements with the Company, which halt the running of applicable statutes of limitations for those claimants who seek to toll claims alleging injuries resulting from a thrombotic cardiovascular event that results in a myocardial infarction or ischemic stroke.