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The product liability attorneys at Spangenberg, Shibley & Liber, LLP have begun distributing partial payments to several clients who sued drug maker, Merck & Co., Inc., over injuries allegedly caused by the once popular pain medication, Vioxx®.

On September 30, 2004, Merck & Co., Inc. withdrew its blockbuster painkiller, Vioxx®, from the market over concerns about the safety of the prescription drug. Specifically, data and studies surfaced suggesting an increased risk of stroke and heart attack associated with use of the drug. Prior to its recall, Vioxx® was widely prescribed for arthritis and pain, generating billions of dollars in sales each year.

The attorneys at SS&L fielded hundreds of Vioxx®-related inquiries in the months following the recall, and quickly put a team of attorneys, paralegals, nurses, and reviewing experts together to investigate these potential claims. In 2005, SS&L began filing suit against Merck on behalf of people claimed to have been injured as a result of taking Vioxx®.

Soon thousands of suits were pending against Merck across the country, the majority of which were consolidated in the United States Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana sitting in New Orleans. Years of litigation ensued during which Merck aggressively defended the claims asserted against it and a few select cases were tried to the Court in New Orleans.

In the fall of 2007, a global settlement was proffered, pursuant to which individual claims would be evaluated based on defined criteria by an independent Claims Administrator who would assign a value to the claim. The attorneys at SS&L recommended all their clients elect to participate in the settlement program. Because of SS&L’s quick response to the Vioxx® recall and thorough continued investigation, SS&L was able, on behalf of its clients, to submit all the necessary information to the Claims Administrator for prompt review.

Now, SS&L is happy to report that its clients’ claims are routinely being approved by the Claims Administrator and partial payments being issued, the remainder of which will be distributed by the Claims Administrator upon final administration of all claims.

The Vioxx® recall spawned nationwide complex litigation. By quickly responding to the recall and setting up a team of lawyers, support staff and experts dedicated to handling their clients’ Vioxx® inquiries and claims, the pharmaceutical and product liability attorneys at Spangenberg, Shibley & Liber were able to efficiently manage each client’s unique claim and see it through the claims administration process.

If you or someone you know believes you have been injured by a dangerous or defective product or drug, contact the product liability attorneys at Spangenberg, Shibley & Liber.

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