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I have dedicated my law practice for the last 25 years to the wrongfully injured and their families. The purpose of this blog is not to provide legal advice. If you need legal help you can contact me at cplacitella@cprlaw.com or visit our website at www.cprlaw.com. Thank You

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Federal Vioxx verdict partially overturned

Today the federal court in Louisiana overturned the $50 million damage award to a former FBI agent. The judge determined that no reasonable jury could give that much. The judge left intact the liability findings both as to compensatory and punitive damages. No doubt the spin doctors will be playing with this one for a few weeks. This finding by the court which in many respects as favorable to the plaintiffs will not the least bit slow the prosecution of these claims. The following is a news account:

Federal Judge Vacates $51 Million Vioxx Verdict, Orders New Trial NEW ORLEANS -- A jury award of $50 million to compensate a retired FBI agent for a non-fatal heart attack he suffered after taking Vioxx for 31 months was 'grossly excessive' and a new trial on the issue of damages must be held, a federal judge ruled today. In Re: Vioxx Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 1657 (E.D. La.). Judge Eldon E. Fallon of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana said that '[n]o reasonable jury could have found that [plaintiff Gerald D. Barnett] was entitled to $50 million in compensatory damages' from Merck & Co. Inc. because of a heart attack he suffered in 2002. Judge Fallon noted that the jury's findings for Barnett on his negligent failure-to-warn and deceit-by-concealment claims were reasonable, as was the jury's $1 million punitive damage award, but the judge cited case law in declaring that the compensatory damage award was 'so excessive that no reasonable juror, unswayed by passion or prejudice, could have awarded that amount.' For more on this developing story, Click Here

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