October 5, 2011

Venable Represents Merck in Another MDL Product Liability Trial Victory in the Southern District of New York

3 min

New York (October 5, 2011) – For the fourth time in the past two years, Venable LLP has helped Merck defeat product liability claims relating to Merck’s osteoporosis medication Fosamax®

After a three-week trial in the case of Secrest v. Merck, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York rejected claims brought by a Florida woman who attributed her dental and jaw-related problems on her use of Fosamax. The victory is Merck’s fourth trial win defending Fosamax.

Venable LLP’s Stephen Marshall served as a co-counsel for Merck. Also representing Merck were attorneys from the firms of King & Spalding LLP in Atlanta, and Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP in Chicago.

At trial, Merck presented evidence that it acted responsibly in researching and developing Fosamax and in monitoring the medicine since it has been on the market, and that Fosamax is a safe and effective medication as described in the product labeling that was properly designed and did not cause the plaintiff's dental and jaw problems. The company's clinical trials, conducted both before and following approval, have involved more than 28,000 patients, including more than 17,000 treated with Fosamax.

This is the fifth case regarding Fosamax to go to trial, with Merck triumphing in four of them. The first three trials were conducted as part of the federal multidistrict litigation proceedings before Judge John Keenan in the Southern District of New York. The first case to be tried to a verdict, Maley v. Merck, resulted in a defense verdict for Merck in May 2010. The second case brought to verdict, Boles v. Merck, initially resulted in a mistrial in September 2009 after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. A retrial of that case in June 2010 resulted in a plaintiff verdict, which was later reduced by Judge Keenan and which Merck intends to appeal after the damages portion of the case is retried. The third case, Graves v. Merck, resulted in a defense verdict for Merck in November 2010. And the fourth case to go to trial, Rosenberg v. Merck, tried in the Superior Court for Atlantic County, New Jersey, resulted in a defense verdict for Merck in February 2011. Venable attorneys were involved in all five trials.


Note: An American Lawyer Top 100 law firm, Venable LLP has attorneys practicing in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property and government affairs. Venable serves corporate, institutional, governmental, nonprofit and individual clients throughout the U.S. and around the world from its headquarters in Washington, D.C. and offices in California, Maryland, New York and Virginia.