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The Plaintiff’s side of the case has been concluded in Madison County where the family of Patricia Schwaller has alleged that Vioxx contributed to and caused the 52-year-olds death. It was shown in the Plaintiff’s case in chief that Schwaller, who died in 2003, did not have a history of heart attacks, strokes or other symptoms of congestive heart disease prior to her use of Merck & Co.’s Vioxx. Schwaller suddenly collapsed and died according to her family after using the controversial drug Vioxx for more than 20 months prior.

The defense team for Merck & Co. is expected to put their spin on the case by alleging Schwaller’s high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes really contributed to her sudden passing. The jury is expected to get the opportunity to decide the case next week and will be asked to determine if Merck & Co. adequately warned about the potential risks associated with Vioxx’s use.

Last week a New Jersey jury found Merck & Co. did not properly warn Frederick “Mike” Humeston who suffered a heart attack in 2001 after his use of Vioxx. That Vioxx Trial resulted in a $47.5 verdict against Merck & Co. with $27.5 million of that amount being awarded as punitive (or punishment) damages.

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