Thursday, August 17, 2006

Merck Takes it on the Chin: $50M Plaintiff's Verdict

Much like announcers do on ESPN's Sportscenter, if you're keeping score at home, it's 5-4 Merck Wins v. Losses.

To me the stakes in this case were much higher. Had the Plaintiff lost this case, then it is a string of losses, with two straight in the MDL.

Defending the case was Phil Beck, who had already won one trial in the MDL against a mismatched Plaintiff's team. The Chicago Tribune wrote, before the trial began:

"If Merck & Co. is ever going to have to pay tens of billions of dollars in damages over its painkiller Vioxx, plaintiffs' attorneys are first going to have to get past Phil Beck."

Beck was a part of the legal team that helped President Bush win the contested 2000 election. He achived victory for Bayer in 2003 in the first trial involving Baycol. Many analysts say that win limited the size of settlements that followed.

"If you had to pick a star out of the roster of lawyers down there in Florida ... it might have been Phil Beck," NBC'sBrian Williams said of Beck's cross-examinations of key witnesses in a Florida judge's decision stopping a recount of more than 12,000 disputed votes. (For sources, go to or the site)

More later.