Vioxx MDL is still alive. But not really the kick. The transaction agreement put an end to the mass damage caused by this litigation and left a much smaller number of appeals that had decided not to be. The MDL court still handles some of these cases. But if Levitt v. Merck Sharp – Dohme Corp., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52756 (E.D. La. April 21, 2015), is a clue, it won`t be for long. Please read the billing notice to fully understand your rights. A copy of the billing notice can be accessed in the menu on the left of this page.
Merck had two bases for its application. The first was the testimony of one of the complainant`s prescribers, Dr. Katz. The complainants claimed that Dr. Katz was merely pursuing a recipe for Vioxx launched a few months earlier by Dr. Hartman. Id. at 4-5. She said she asked Dr.
Hartman about Vioxx after seeing Vioxx commercials. Id. Dr. Katz stated, however, that he relied on his own training and medical experience to independently decide whether to prescribe Vioxx to the complainant, not Dr. Hartman`s earlier decision or advertising. Id. The recording shows that Dr. Katz was the first to prescribe The Vioxx to the complainant for daily use.
Id. at 25-26. Dr. Katz also said that in what you think would be case-end testimony that he would always have prescribed vioxx to the complainant, even though he was wearing a black box warning about cardiovascular risks. Id. at $19. This poses a huge problem of caximate causation for complainants. But the plaintiff again turned to her first prescriber, Dr. Hartman.
She stated that it was still necessary to find out whether Dr. Harman continued to prescribe Vioxx to the complainant, while Dr. Katz had also prescribed and, if so, whether he would have continued to do so if there had been an appropriate warning. She also argued that Dr. Katz was biased because he was a paid speaker and researcher for Merck. It apparently provided no evidence of actual bias, but only evidence of the consultation relationship. The court decided that this was sufficient to refuse a summary judgment and, in fact, reopen the discovery of Dr. Hartman`s prescription history, his position on the Vioxx warning and the possibility of actual bias by Dr. Hartman.
Id. at 26-27. Please note that on June 28, 2016, the Tribunal issued final authorization for the settlement of this action, obtained by principal complainants on behalf of themselves and the settlement class (see below) and by the defendants.