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Merck Verdict Cut Significantly


The jury awarded the complainant against Merck & Co. $8 million in a lawsuit over its Fosamax osteoporosis drug, but a federal judge has cut that award to $1.5 million while uploading the verdict, a New York Injury Lawyer reports.

A U.S. District Judge in Manhattan denied Merck’s request for a defense verdict or a new trial. The jury gave a 72-year-old woman of Fort Walton Beach, Florida victory in her suit against the company. It was her complaint the she had developed osteoncrosis of the jaw, what is otherwise known as jaw death, from taking Fosamax.

According to the judge, the $8 million verdict was far too high. The plaintiff was allowed to take a reduced award of $1.5 million or to request a retrial to determine damages. “A significant damage award is warranted, but the $8 million deviates substantially from what would be reasonable compensation,” the judge told a New York Injury Lawyer. Merck has stated it will appeal the judge’s refusal to throw out the verdict entirely.

“Both the finding and the amount of compensatory damages are against the weight of the evidence,” a lawyer for Merck told a New York Injury Lawyer. “The evidence showed that Fosamax did not cause the plaintiff’s injury and that it is a safe and effective medication that was properly designed.” This suit was the second of two cases to come before this judge, who is overseeing federal Fosamax litigation across the United States.

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