Merck Ordered to Disclose Vioxx Fees ~ OPOLAW Injury Blog

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Merck Ordered to Disclose Vioxx Fees

The judge presiding over the Vioxx defective drug trial has ordered pharmaceutical company Merck to disclose information on how much it spends on trials, so the court has some idea of what its legal defense costs could be in the future. Judge Carol Higbee requested the information after plaintiff's lawyers demanded that Merck pay for $5.6 million in legal fees and expenses for the trial of two men who had heart attacks while taking Vioxx. Because the jury ruled that Merck had committed consumer fraud while marketing Vioxx, the plaintiffs had ground to ask for the legal fees. Merck's resistance to cover the expense led to further demands by plaintiffs that Merck disclose its legal fees. Merck has so far spent $285 million of the $970 million it reserved for legal costs. Merck legal spokesman Ken Jarrell says the company's lawyers do not agree with Judge Higbee's decision and are exploring all their options. He also insists that the amount defense lawyers spend is irrelevant to the plaintiff lawyer's expenses.

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