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Some Lawyers Seeking Change to Vioxx Settlement

Filed January 2nd, 2008 amy

The New York Times recently reported that several plaintiffs’ lawyers have asked the federal judge overseeing the $4.85 billion Vioxx settlement to give them the freedom to keep some of their clients outside the settlement while allowing other clients to accept it. Currently, if the lawyers want any clients to receive money from the settlement, they must recommend the deal to all their clients.

Theodore V. H. Mayer, a lawyer for Merck, said that the company would oppose the motion and that the settlement had been carefully devised to be fair to plaintiffs and the company. Many plaintiffs’ lawyers disagree that the provision is in their clients’ best interest. In an emergency motion to Judge Eldon E. Fallon of Federal District Court in New Orleans, the plaintiffs’ lawyers aussie online casinos said the provision would prevent them from offering the best independent judgment for each client.Agreeing to the provision might open them to future lawsuits from disgruntled clients, they said.

Merck and several large plaintiffs’ law firms agreed to the settlement last month as a way to resolve more than 50,000 claims from people who assert that Vioxx, a painkiller withdrawn from the market in 2004, caused them to suffer heart attacks and strokes. Merck had won most of the 18 suits that reached juries in both state and federal court.

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