Vioxx Class Action Update-February 28, 2006

In a decision just released, Justice Warren Winkler of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ruled that a National Team of 19 leading law firms across Canada will have carriage of a proposed national class action relating to the painkiller Vioxx in Ontario.

Wilder Wilder & Langtry is a part of this National Team of law firms.

The effect of the decision is to stay other proposed class actions that had been started in Ontario since the drug-maker Merck issued a voluntary, worldwide withdrawal of the drug on September 30, 2004 . In particular, a claim filed by the Merchant Law Group has been halted in Ontario.

In deciding to award carriage of the class action to the Ontario law firms participating in the National Team, Justice Winkler recognized that the National Team is “comprised of many pre-eminent class action counsel from across Canada ” and has “extensive experience at every court level involving certification of class proceedings”. He further noted that the National Team’s ” combined resources, financial and otherwise, and breadth of experience ” were significant. The court also noted the public’s perception of the National Team, reflected by the fact that it has been contacted by close to 7,000 potential class action members from across the country. A significant portion of those members are from Manitoba.

Now that the issue of carriage of the proposed national class action is resolved, the National Team is poised to proceed with a motion to have the National Team’s action certified as the national class action for all of the Provinces, except Quebec . This would mean the National Team would represent all persons in Canada (other than Quebec ) who were prescribed and who ingested Vioxx, as well as all third parties who paid for the drug and the case would be heard in the Ontario jurisdiction.

We will be meeting in the weeks to come to discuss the impact of this decision on the Manitoba Class Action lawsuit; however, we anticipate that it will allow us to proceed quicker and more vigorously against the Defendants with an even larger group of Plaintiffs.

If you believe you have a potential claim against the makers of Vioxx, please contact our office immediately at 204-947-1456 or fill out the form entitled “Questionnaire for Potential Claimants” on this website and we will be in touch with you accordingly.

For those who have already contacted our office, please note that we will be posting updates on this website from time to time to ensure that you have up to date information regarding the case. If you have questions that cannot be answered by reading the materials on this website, please contact us at 204-947-1456 or email us at:

swilder@wilderwilder.com
mmaruca@wilderwilder.com