With manufacturer Merck & Co. declaring victory in the most recent bellwether Fosamax lawsuit, it is worthwhile to review the first five Fosamax product liability cases brought to court in addition to the remaining legal challenges for Merck.
Completed Fosamax ONJ Trials
In 2006 a multidistrict litigation (MDL) was formed in New York federal district court to deal with an increasing number of complaints that the bisphosphonate drug Fosamax (alendronate sodium) causes osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). To date, the ONJ MDL contains more than 1,000 cases.
Typical of mass tort litigation is the designation of several cases as bellwether trials. Bellwether trials are among the first of a group of similar cases to be tried and are intended to foreshadow trends in the litigation.
So far, there have been five Fosamax ONJ trials. The dates of those trials’ conclusions, along with their results, are as follows:
- May 2010: Maley v. Merck results in a defense verdict for Merck.
- June 2010: Boles v. Merck, which had previously ended in a mistrial—because of an altercation in the jury room—results in a plaintiff verdict and award of $1.5 million.
- November 2010: Graves v. Merck ends in a defense verdict for Merck
- February 2011: Rosenberg v. Merck results in a defense verdict for Merck
- October 2011: Secrest v. Merck ends with a defense verdict for Merck
Following the conclusion of the most recent Fosamax products liability litigation, Merck executive vice president Bruce N. Kuhlik said, “Merck is pleased with the jury’s verdict. We have now won four of the first five cases that have been tried to verdict. We continue to believe that Fosamax is a safe and effective medication and the company provided appropriate and timely information about Fosamax to consumers and to the medical, scientific, and regulatory communities.”
Merck Continues to Deal With Fosamax Litigation
Among the consolidated federal Fosamax ONJ cases, two bellwethers still remain:
- Spano v. Merck & Co., Inc.: scheduled for February 27, 2012
- Jellema v. Merck & Co., Inc.: scheduled for May 7, 2012
Its victory in the first four out of five Fosamax cases to reach trial notwithstanding, Merck still faces an uphill battle in convincing the courts and consumers that Fosamax is a safe, effective medication. This is due not only to the thousands of remaining ONJ lawsuits the company faces, but also because Merck faces a separate MDL concerning the capacity of Fosamax to cause femur fractures.
The Fosamax femur fracture MDL litigation, being overseen in New Jersey federal district court, contains more than 300 complaints. No trial dates have been announced yet.
Contact RLG for a Complimentary Fosamax Case Review
For breaking news about the ongoing Merck Fosamax litigation, continue to check back in with the Rottenstein Law Group. And for a summary of potential Fosamax problems, take a look at this Fosamax information graphic.
You may also be interested in finding out whether you are eligible for a Fosamax case evaluation. To this end, RLG is offering free case evaluations for anybody who suspects Fosamax may have caused them harm. To speak with a personal injury attorney, fill out this form or call 1-877-332-2347.