A New Jersey judge ordered Merck to release records on how much it spent on a trial involving its Vioxx painkiller.
This information should give many people a clear understanding of how Merck spends on Vioxx trials as well as what defense costs may be in the future, at least in New Jersey. More than 29,000 suits have been filed against Merck.
Judge Carol Higbee's Order arises from a request from lawyers for a Plaintiff in a recently tried case that Merck pay their legal fees and expenses of roughly $5.6 million for a trial that combined the cases of two men who suffered heart attacks while taking Vioxx.
The jury found Merck committed consumer fraud in its marketing of Vioxx, and that finding allows plaintiffs' firms to ask for legal fees.
Merck balked at the expense level, prompting plaintiffs' lawyers to ask how much Merck spent on the trial. To the surprise of no one, Merck objects.
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