The judge overseeing two types of Fosamax lawsuits in New Jersey Superior Court announced recently that she intends to move forward with a preliminary femur fracture case rather than focusing on another jaw bone necrosis lawsuit.
Decision Announced in Letter to Counsel
In the Superior Court of New Jersey in Atlantic County there are close to 1,800 lawsuits pending against Merck & Co., manufacturer of the popular osteoporosis medication Fosamax. Among those cases there are two types: those alleging that Fosamax causes osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), a condition that can cause jawbone to rot and die, and those claiming that Fosamax leads to atypical femur fractures, a rare type of thigh bone break that can occur after little or no trauma.
To date, the only New Jersey state lawsuit to be tried, Sessner v. Merck, an ONJ case, resulted in a defense verdict. And while the Honorable Carol E. Higbee originally planned to try another ONJ lawsuit, she has since changed course, deciding instead to focus on a bellwether femur fracture case.
In a mass tort such as the one being coordinated by Judge Higbee, a limited number of cases, known as bellwether cases, are chosen to be tried first. Although the outcomes of the cases don’t necessarily predict how subsequent ones will play out, bellwethers do often shed light on future trends. The actual date of the first femur fracture lawsuit has not been announced.
Merck Also Facing Federal MDLs
In addition to the New Jersey state mass tort, Merck is dealing with two federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) cases. In the Southern District of New York, the company is defending close to 1,000 ONJ lawsuits, while in New Jersey federal court, there are more than 450 pending femur fracture cases.
So far, there have been five federal bellwether Fosamax lawsuits. All five were ONJ cases, and in all but one, Merck obtained a defense verdict. In the single case that ended in a plaintiff verdict, the jury awarded the injured party $1.5 million.
The first federal femur fracture trials should be announced sometime this year. Check back regularly with the Rottenstein Law Group to learn more about this and other Fosamax lawsuit news.
Discuss Your Injury With a Lawyer
If you’ve been injured, the last thing you want is more complications. That’s why the Rottenstein Law Group aims to make the process of seeking compensation from a blameworthy manufacturer as simple as possible. To discuss with an attorney whether your thigh bone break might be attributable to Merck’s Fosamax, complete this online form or call us at 1-877-332-2347.
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