$51 Million – Prescription Drug Injury
August 17‚ 2006 – A federal court jury in New Orleans rendered a $51 million verdict against Merck & Co.‚ the manufacturer of Vioxx. The plaintiff‚ Gerald Barnett‚ was represented by lead trial counsel Mark P. Robinson‚ Jr. of Robinson Calcagnie, Inc. Mr. Barnett‚ a 62-year-old retired Special Agent of the FBI‚ took the arthritis drug Vioxx regularly for approximately 55 months to treat his osteoarthritis, during which he suffered blood pressure spikes and a rapid progression of atherosclerosis. Mr.Barnett suffered a heart attack on September 6, 2002, and underwent 5-way bypass surgery. Since that time‚ he has suffered a re-occlusion of his vein grafts‚ requiring him to undergo angioplasty and stent placement. Mr. Barnett sought damages for pain and suffering‚ past and future medical expenses, and loss of life expectancy.
In October 2004, Merck voluntarily recalled Vioxx after studies demonstrated an increased risk of heart attack associated with the drug. Mr. Barnett alleged that Merck had been negligent in warning of the risks associated with Vioxx. The jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the plaintiff and awarded compensatory and punitive damages against the drug manufacturer.