Published on:

Merck’s Vioxx Defense Team Suffers Setback As New Jersey Appellate Court Holds Trial Court "Prematurely Terminated" Class Action Complaint

A state appellate court has ruled that a lower court prematurely dismissed a putative class action against Merck on behalf of people who used Vioxx for at least six (6) weeks but who have not evidenced any medical problems. While the opinion is a setback for the Vioxx defense team, the New Jersey appellate court held only that plaintiffs were entitled to additional discovery in an effort to prove whether they have a valid claim. Merck is reportedly considering whether to seek review in the New Jersey Supreme Court. Alternatively, defense attorneys may decide to let the plaintiffs conduct additional discovery and then renew the motion in the trial court, as there appears to be no medical evidence proving that people who stopped taking Vioxx more than two years ago remain at risk today.