Merck Wins 1st State Court Fosamax Trial

Merck Wins 1st State Court Fosamax Trial

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- The first state court trial alleging jaw injuries from Fosamax yielded a win for the defense on Feb. 14 in the Atlantic County, N.J., Superior Court (Alison Rosenberg v. Merck, Sharpe & Dohme Corp., No. ATL-L-3644-08, N.J. Super., Atlantic Co.).

The jury found by a 9-1 vote that Alison Rosenberg did not demonstrate that she more likely than not suffered osteonecrosis of the jaw.  Given that finding on the first question, the jury did not continue to causation questions. 

Rosenberg alleged that she used Fosamax from 1999 to 2006 and that she suffered various jaw problems and complications following a tooth extraction in December 2005. 

Trial began Jan. 24 with Judge Carol E. Higbee presiding.  Closing arguments were made Feb. 10, and the jury deliberated about a day before returning its verdict. 

Merck argued that it provided appropriate and timely information about Fosamax to the medical and regulatory communities and said the drug did not cause Rosenberg's dental and jaw problems.  Merck said Rosenberg had an extensive history of periodontal and endodontic treatments and took steroids that are known to suppress the body's immune system and inhibit its ability to heal. 

Rosenberg is the fourth Fosamax case to go to trial.  The case was selected as a bellwether trial in the New Jersey Fosamax mass tort litigation.  It is New Jersey's first Fosamax trial and the first state court Fosamax trial nationwide. 

[Editor's Note:  Full coverage will be in the Feb. 17 issue of Mealey's Emerging Drugs & Devices.  In the meantime, the verdict slip is available at www.mealeysonline.com or by calling the Customer Support Department at 1-800-833-9844.  Document #28-110217-013V.  For all of your legal news needs, please visit www.lexisnexis.com/mealeys.] 

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For more information, call editor Tom Moylan at 215-988-7739, or e-mail him at tom.moylan@lexisnexis.com.