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More Vioxx Trials to Come in ‘Judicial Hellhole’

Posted Apr 9, 2007 2:45 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The makers of the pain medication Vioxx still face dozens of lawsuits in Madison County, Ill., once dubbed a judicial hellhole by a tort reform group.

The next trial against Vioxx maker Merck & Co. is scheduled for September, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Two more are scheduled for December.

Plaintiffs contend long-term use of Vioxx causes heart disease and strokes.

Merck won the first Vioxx case to be tried in the Midwest before a Madison County jury late last month. St. Louis attorney Andy Crouppen says tort reform groups may be changing jurors’ attitudes.

"There's been a great effort on the part of insurance carriers and big business to put a strong message out there that by giving any sort of large verdict, you jurors are shooting yourself in the foot and will drive jobs and doctors out and insurance rates up," he says.

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