Pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., Inc. was yesterday ordered by a federal jury to pay $285,000 in a lawsuit over its osteoporosis drug, Fosamax, according to a Reuters report.
That's the second losing verdict for Merck involving Fosamax, a drug designed to slow bone loss. Fosamax has been available to West Virginia residents for years; Merck's patent on it expired in 2008.
Though the federal jury rejected the plaintiff's argument that Fosmax is a defective drug, it agreed that Merck had failed to adequately warn the woman who filed the suit of the dangers of the bisphosphonate.
There are currently more than 4,000 lawsuits pending in state and federal courts revolving around damage caused by the medication. So far, seven have gone to trial, with the plaintiffs prevailing in two.
Observers say this second loss by Merck might open the door to more agreeable settlement terms for plaintiffs in other cases.
The 69-year-old New York woman who brought the claim against Merck argued that the company's medication delayed the healing process in her jaw after she had a tooth extraction. That condition then led to a bone disease, she contended.
The jury found that the New Jersey pharmaceutical company's failure to warn the woman of the risks inherent in taking the drug was a cause of the injury she suffered.
Merck disputes the jury's findings, insisting it provided adequate consumer warnings on Fosamax containers.
Many of the people who have filed claims against Merck suffered jaw injuries, while others suffered harm to their femurs, according to court documents.
Anyone who has suffered injury from a prescription drug should contact a law firm experienced and effective in defective drug litigation.
Source: Reuters, "Merck hit with $285,000 verdict in Fosamax trial," Nate Raymond, Feb. 5, 2013
- Our Charleston firm handles similar cases across the state. For more information, please see our West Virginia defective drugs webpage.