With the first milestone passing this week (1/15/08) Merck's confident it will reach the goals necessary to set a $4.85 billion Vioxx settlement into play.
There are report that law firms representing more than 55,000 plaintiffs had registered their claims by the deadline. Only those who registered by the deadline will then have the option to take part in the settlement. As is now known, Merck conditioned settlement on 85 percent approval by registered plaintiffs to sign on to the settlement in each category or the deal falls apart. It could be several months before it is known if that goal has been achieved.
From this source: "We expect to meet and exceed the 85 percent in both categories. We just don't know when that will occur," said Kent Jarrell, a spokesman for Merck's legal team.