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Allison Snoddy
Allison Snoddy
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Selecting Cases for NJ Vioxx Trial

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Last week was the deadline for lawyers representing Plaintiffs in the Vioxx trials to select 10 cases that were to be submitted to Judge Carol Higbee for consideration in the upcoming trials for January. Merck has until today (October 17, 2006) to make any specific objections to plaintiffs chosen by opposing lawyers.

Merck can make objections over the prospect of trying plaintiffs from different states in one venue two weeks after the list is finalized. Almost 14,000 cases have been filed in Atlantic County Superior Court in New Jersey and more that 21,000 cases against Merck have been filed in various courts around the country. Judge Higbee believes that she will have to find different ways to get the cases to trial given the large amount of cases that have been filed. Merck has opposed any combining of cases as they claim that each plaintiff is “unique” and therefore can not be combined. Judge Higbee has given Merck until October 19 to file an official objection regarding combining cases. It will be interesting to see what the outcome is and what Merck’s objections are and if the judge agrees or disagrees with them.