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BREAKING NEWS ~ Federal jury finds Merck not liable in Vioxx case

[JURIST] AP is reporting that a federal jury has cleared Merck [corporate website] of responsibility in the death of a Florida man who had taken the popular painkiller Vioxx [JURIST news archive]. The painkiller was recalled in 2004 after clinical tests showed that patients who use the drug for more than 18 months faced an increased risk of stroke and heart attack [FDA public health advisory].

The verdict comes in the first federal lawsuit [JURIST report; complaint] over Vioxx to go to trial; the case was initially declared a mistrial [JURIST report] in December when jurors could not agree on a verdict. In conflicting rulings at the state level last year, a Texas jury in August awarded a $253.4 million verdict [JURIST report] to the plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit, but a few months later, a New Jersey jury found that Merck was not liable [JURIST report] and that the company properly warned consumers about the risks associated with the drug.

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About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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