Federal Judge Disperses Hundreds of Fosamax Lawsuits to Other Courts
A federal judge has ordered that a number of cases against the pharmaceutical company Merck be returned to the courts where the individual Fosamax lawsuits were initially filed after negations between plaintiff attorneys and Merck broke down.
About the Fosamax Lawsuits
- Reuters reports that Merck is currently facing 5,075 lawsuits which are pending in federal and state courts in regards to their osteoporosis drug, Fosamax.
- The lawsuits allege the drug is linked to jawbone injuries suffered by the plaintiffs including osteonecrosis.
- According to the New York Times, osteonecrosis of the jaw is a condition in which jawbone tissue breaks down causing gums to deteriorate exposing the bone that lies beneath.
- U.S. District Judge John Keenan in Manhattan was responsible for overseeing nearly a fifth of the 5,075 cases.
Judge Orders Fosamax Lawsuits be Dispersed
- Judge Keenan ordered Thursday that the lawsuits be returned to the district courts in which they were originally filed.
- According to the decision, the cases will be dispersed at a rate of 200 per month, beginning with the oldest cases first.
- Reuters estimates that the motion may be costly for Merck as companies often find it easier to settle mass tort cases than a such large number of individual cases.
- One lawyer representing a large number of plaintiffs seemed pleased with the decision referencing a 2007 incident when Merck reached a $4.85 billion settlement in regards to the painkiller Vroxx when a federal judge proposed a similar order.
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