Second Fosamax Bellwether Case Ends In Unanimous Verdict For Defendant Merck

Second Fosamax Bellwether Case Ends In Unanimous Verdict For Defendant Merck

NEW YORK — (Mealey’s) The second federal Fosamax bellwether trial ended in a defense verdict May 6 when a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York unanimously found that the plaintiff did not suffer from osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) as of March 31, 2004, a date when manufacturer Merck & Co. Inc. should have known of the risk and warned doctors and patients about it (In Re:  Fosamax Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1789, No. 06-md-1789, Louise Maley v. Merck & Co., Inc., No. 06-4110, S.D. N.Y.).

Louise Maley, 69, was diagnosed with osteopenia in 1998 and took Fosamax from 1998 to 2006 to prevent osteoporosis.  In April 2004, she experienced jaw pain and underwent treatment with drugs and surgery.

She sued Merck, and her case became part of the Fosamax multidistrict litigation.

The jury answered “no” to the first question on the jury interrogatory:  “Do you find that Louise Maley suffered from osteonecrosis of the jaw as of March 31, 2004?”  Having answered no, the jury ended deliberations and Merck won the verdict.

Judge John F. Keenan instructed the jury that Merck contended that there was no basis to warn physicians about ONJ before Maley’s injury in March 2004 “because, at that time, there was no evidence that Fosamax caused ONJ.”

[Editor's Note:  Full coverage will be in the May 20 issue of Mealey’s Emerging Drugs & Devices.  In the meantime, the verdict form and jury instructions are available at www.mealeysonline.com or by calling the Customer Support Department at 1-800-833-9844.  Verdict form.  Document #28-100520-001V.  Jury instructions. Document #28-100520-002J.  For all of your legal news needs, please visit www.lexisnexis.com/mealeys.]

Download the documents now:

Mealeysonline.com - Document #28-100520-001V

Mealeysonline.com - Document #28-100520-002J

For more information, call editor Tom Moylan at 610-205-1120, or e-mail him at tom.moylan@lexisnexis.com.

Download the complaint.