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Joseph H. Saunders
Joseph H. Saunders
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Vioxx According to Jurors

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There’s an insightful article in the online version of the Wall St. Journalregarding what jurors think when it comes to the pharmaceutical giant Merck and their drug Vioxx. The article states that three things are important when it comes to prevailing in a lawsuit against the maker of Vioxx: 1)show the victim used Vioxx; 2)a believable plaintiff witness, and 3)risk factors galore.

Now, in my mind, the first two are no brainers for any trial attorney. But the third comes as a huge surprise and goes against the conventional wisdom. Until the latest Vioxx verdict in the McDarby case, it was generally thought that the best case involved a person who had the fewest risk factors. Yet, Mr. McDarby turned that thinking on its head. It just goes to prove that there are certain intangible factors in any trial. The human element always presents the possibility for surprise.