On Friday, August 19, 2005, a twelve person jury in Angleton, Texas, found Merck & Co Inc. liable for damages in the amount of 253.4 million dollars for the death of Robert Ernst. Mr. Ernst was a Produce Manager at Wal-Mart and an active marathon runner. He died in May 2001 from an arrhythmia, which the jury believed to be caused by a heart attack induced by Mr. Ernst’s eight months of VIOXX use.
The jury awarded Mr. Ernst’s widow $450,000.00 in economic damages, $24 million for mental anguish and loss of companionship and $229 million punitive damages. Merck & Co Inc. has indicated in interviews that it will appeal the decision. Currently, there is another American case being heard in New Jersey and we are monitoring the progress of that trial.
We are pleased with the verdict in Texas and are continuing to monitor the progress of the American cases. Currently, we are continuing our efforts to proceed with the case in Canada as quickly as possible, working with a group of leading law firms throughout the country to seek justice on behalf of our class members. In early September our national group brought a motion to the court in Ontario seeking carriage of the national class action against Merck & Co Inc.; however, it was adjourned by the Court and is likely to be heard and decided sometime prior to the end of the year. If successful, our national group will have full control over how the national class action will proceed against the makers of VIOXX and will likely proceed much more aggressively thereafter.
If you believe you may have a potential claim against the makers of VIOXX. Merck & Co Inc., please contact our office immediately, if you have not already done so, at (204) 947-1456 or fill out the form on this website.
On August 22, 2005, John MacIver of our firm discussed the implications of the Texas decision on the national television show, Canada AM on CTV.
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. We also remind you to ensure that you have obtained your detailed pharmaceutical records to show the history of your VIOXX use. If you have questions that cannot be accessed by reading the materials on this website, please contact our VIOXX hotline at (204) 947-1456 or email us at: