Judge Dismisses Vioxx Case; Could Set Precedent for Other Texas Cases
A Texas judge overseeing lawsuits against Merck over its withdrawn pain drug Vioxx dismissed a case, rejecting the plaintiff's claim that she was not properly informed of the health risks associated with the medicine, Merck said late on Friday.
Judge Randy Wilson held that to prevail under Texas law the plaintiff would have to show that Merck withheld required, material and relevant information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that would have led to a different decision regarding warnings on the approved labeling for Vioxx, the company said.
Wilson ruled that such a determination can only be made by the FDA, not a Texas jury. Wilson certified the decision for an expedited appeal to the Texas Court of Civil Appeals, Merck said.
More than 1,300 Vioxx cases were filed in Texas after the 2003 law Wilson cited in his ruling was enacted. Merck has sought to dismiss all such failure-to-warn claims under Texas law.