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Merck Found Not Liable by Madison County Jury


A Madison County jury found Merck’s blockbuster painkiller, Vioxx, was not responsible for the heart attack and death of Patricia Schwaller.

Mrs. Schwaller suffered a heart attack and died in 2003 at the age of 52 after taking Vioxx for an estimated 10 months. Although Mrs. Schwaller’s primary doctor, Tibor Kopjas, M.D. believed Vioxx was a substantial factor in her death, Merck produced their own experts who stated the contrary.

The jury deliberated for more than two days before siding with Merck. Merck attorneys argued that Mrs. Schwaller’s obesity and other health issues likely caused her sudden death and the jury agreed.

The Madison County verdict came three weeks after a jury verdict in Atlantic City. The New Jersey jury found Merck’s painkiller, Vioxx, contributed to Frederick Humeston’s heart attack and awarded $47.5 million in damages.

“While the Schwaller verdict is a disappointment, the Humeston jury verdict clearly expresses the view of the public, and should be a warning to Merck and all drug manufacturers to properly disclose the risks of medications”, states attorney Brian Goldstein. “The tide is turning against profit driven pharmaceutical companies who sacrifice patient safety for profit.”

Merck currently faces tens of thousands of cases from other Vioxx plaintiffs, and Judge Eldon Fallon, who is presiding over the federal cases, believes the number of cases will grow.

Individuals who have been injured after taking Vioxx can contact attorney Brian Goldstein. Goldstein is an attorney who is a former Board Certified Surgeon and heads up the mass tort department at The Barnes Firm.

About The Barnes Firm:

The Barnes Firm presently represents thousands of clients who have been injured after ingesting Vioxx. In addition to Vioxx, the firm has also successfully represented clients harmed by Baycol and Fen Phen, resulting in multi-million dollar settlements.

For more information, visit The Barnes Firm website at or contact Mr. Goldstein 1-800-483-2050.


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