Merck to Cut Checks for Vioxx Claimants

Merck will start issuing checks to Vioxx claimants who’ve been injured by the drug. Merck has stated that nearly 97% of eligible claimants have enrolled in their settlement program and as a result, Merck will waive its right to “walk away” from the agreement reached last fall with plaintiffs’ attorneys. As a result, the Enrollment Deadline Date is now October 30, 2008, pursuant to Section 17.1.26 of the Settlement Agreement. Claimants may continue to Enroll in the Settlement Program until October 30, 2008.
The settlements will range from $5,000 to a few million dollars depending on the usage and severity of injury. The settlement agreement should resolve approximately 50,000 lawsuits at a cost to Merck of $4,85 billion.
Former Vioxx users, or their survivors, are eligible for part of the settlement if the patient suffered a heart attack, stroke or death. They must have had pending lawsuits or tolling agreements, which suspend the statute of limitations, as of Nov. 9, 2007, the date the settlement was reached.