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M. Brandon Smith
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Second Federal Vioxx Trial: Opening Arguments

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Both parties involved in the second federal Vioxx trial got their first chance to tell the jury what issues they will ultimately be asked to decide in the Louisiana case. The Case involves Gerald Barnett, a 62 year old former FBI agent, who blames Merck and Co. for his Vioxx related heart attack in 2002.

According to Cbsnews.com:

Robinson said that, during his 27 years as an FBI agent, “Jerry always met stringent FBI physical requirements.” Even after retirement he worked out daily, running and lifting weights, and kept his diet healthy, Robinson said.

In spite of this, Barnett had a heart attack, followed by a 5-way bypass operation, on Sept. 6, 2002. He was 58 and had taken Vioxx for 31 months. He continued to take it until one week before Merck pulled it from the market in September 2004 because it increased the risk of heart attacks.

The importance of this case should not be underestimated. It is the second of five federal Vioxx lawsuits that will serve as an overall predictor of the Vioxx liability landscape across the U.S. Click her for more information on this Vioxx trial.