Court Tosses $32M Verdict Against Vioxx

Says evidence insufficient that it contributed to Texan's death
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2008 1:29 PM CDT
Vioxx is arranged on a counting tray, laying on top of the bottle, at The Pennington Apothecary in a Pennington, N.J. file photo from Sept. 30, 2004.    (AP Photo/Daniel Hulshizer, File)
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(Newser) – A Texas appellate court threw out a $32 million verdict against Merck today, citing a lack of evidence that Vioxx contributed to a man’s fatal heart attack. Lionel Garza was taking the painkiller when he died in 2001 at age 71, but was also a smoker with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Garza case was decided by verdict in 2006, and was excluded from a recent $4.85 billion settlement for 27,000 Vioxx cases.