Monday, April 29, 2013

Merck Wins Federal Bellwether Fosamax® Femur Fracture Jury Verdict: Glynn v. Merck

More soon -- but Judge Pisano let the case reach the jury, and the jury found in favor of Merck.

The ECF/PACER feed ran a little behind on this one -- but clearly, Judge Pisano held the Rule 50(a) motion hearing at 2 p.m. today, while the jury was deliberating.

Likely in large part, just to preserve a complete record on appeal, if the jury had come back in favor of the Glynns' -- and then, of course, Merck would have appealed the Rule 50(a) decisions. [The lawyers were waiting around the courtroom for a verdict already, anyway -- so why not?]

Even so, it seems there will be a pretty fullsome record. But with a jury verdict finding no liability for Merck, here, there will be only the narrowest of alleys for an appeal, for the Glynns.

From Merck's press release, as transcribed by Bloomberg (with a little additional perspective, below), then:
. . . .“We are pleased with the jury’s verdict. The company provided appropriate and timely information about FOSAMAX to consumers and the medical, scientific and regulatory communities,” said Bruce N. Kuhlik, executive vice president and general counsel of Merck. "We remain confident in the efficacy and safety profile of FOSAMAX, and will continue to always act in the best interest of patients. . . ."

The verdict was handed down today in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey, Merck said in a statement. The verdict couldn’t immediately be confirmed in court records. The case is the first to receive a verdict of about 3,300 femur-fracture lawsuits against the company.

Bernadette Glynn sued Merck over claims the company, based in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, was aware Fosamax might cause brittle bones and increase fracture risks years before the drug was made available to the public. The case was seen as a bellwether for how other cases might be resolved. . . .

So it goes -- Q1 earnings next -- in two days' time.

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