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Fosamax Settlement of $28 Million

Merck would settle some Fosamax Lawsuits

In September, a federal judge ordered hundreds of lawsuits which charge that Merck’s Fosamax caused osteonecrosis – a painful death of jawbone tissue – be moved for trial to courts around the country. Because so many separate trials would greatly increase Merck’s court costs, the company on Monday proposed paying nearly $28 million to settle nearly 1,200 lawsuits of some 5,000 outstanding.

A lawyer for Merck, Paul Strain, handling the proposed Fosamax settlement for the company, said, “We hope to bring this to a successful conclusion.” Strain spoke in a Manhattan federal court room before Judge John Keenan, who is presiding over the growing Fosamax litigation. According to Reuters, Merck noted that the proposal would require 100 percent of the roughly 1,200 people to participate. That is a tall order.

Merck Loses Two Trials, Wins Three

Merck lost two trials by jury, one which awarded a plaintiff $285,000 and the other $8 million, which was later reduced to $1.5 million. Merck won three other cases, including one on preemption grounds which claimed the company could not comply with both federal and state regulations regarding Fosamax’s labeling, and Merck was therefore free of liability in that case.

Mediation for these lawsuits in Judge Keena’s court recently failed, prompting the judge to remand or transfer them to force the legal teams to find resolution on their own. Without some settlement resolution, Merck would face the prospect of higher case costs, if the company were forced to litigate the hundreds of remaining lawsuits in this docket.

More than 4,000 other lawsuits on file against Merck regarding Fosamax are not covered by this proposal. These cases also contend that Fosamax caused femur fractures and/or other bone injures.

Much of this story was taken from Pharmalot. See its story here: Bad Break

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