A New Jersey state judge has vacated a jury verdict for Merck & Co. Inc. and ordered a new trial for a postal worker who blamed his heart attack on his two-month use of Vioxx, according to plaintiff's firm Seeger Weiss. Humeston v. Merck & Co. Inc.
Counsel for plaintiff Frederick 'Mike' Humeston said in a statement that Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Carol E. Higbee's ruling nullifies the verdict for all purposes and will allow Humeston a new day in court. The retrial is tentatively planned for January, according to plaintiff's attorney Christopher Seeger.
In an Aug. 17 bench ruling, Judge Higbee said that evidence uncovered since the Nov. 3, 2005, verdict showed that Merck failed to report material cardiovascular safety data connecting increased risk of heart attack with use of Vioxx for less than 18 months, according to Seeger Weiss.