Strain said Merck would not be happy with any award against it. "We know that the excessive verdict is sufficient basis for a new trial," he said.
Douglas faces possible sanctions for his closing argument, which was recognized in contemporary media coverage as over the top. Merck has agued that Douglas intended to incite the jury to punish the company. “They did seek punitive damages. They don’t even admit it now,” Strain said. Boles had sought $5 million in compensatory damages, but the jury awarded her $8 million.