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Faced with over 15,000 individual Vioxx lawsuits, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Carol Higbee has ordered that 4 Vioxx trials will begin this October at the same time. The trials will be conducted in Atlantic City, NJ. before four different judges. Merck, the manufacturer of Vioxx, withdrew it’s blockbuster drug from the worldwide marketplace in September of 2004 when studies showed it caused heart attacks and strokes.

Trying multiiple cases at the same time is the only way to put a dent in the backlog of pending cases. Even if 10 cases a year were tried, it would take 1,500 years to complete all 15,000 cases. Some of us may not be around by then. Merck has vowed to try all 15,000 cases one at a time and strongly objected to Judge Higbee’s plan. However, Merck’s attorneys have not offered any solution of their own to how to expedite the trial process. There are another 17,000 cases pending in the United States District Court in New Orleans. Merck (NYSE: MRK) is a Dow 30 component and is headquarted in Whitehouse Station, NJ.

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Drugs, Medical Devices, and Implants.

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