What evidence will the jury be allowed to hear at trial? What evidence will Merck be forbidden from introducing? Judge Fallon's Nov. 18 order is revealing and provides hints for how the two-week trial might unfold. For example, if the plaintiff attempts to claim loss of consortium and pain and suffering from Irvin's death, Merck may be allowed to introduce evidence that the plaintiff widow was separated from Irvin at the time. (Plunkett disputes this, though hospital records state differently.) Merck will not be allowed to introduce evidence that Irvin was stealing from his employer or of his DUI arrests, the effect of a large judgment on pharmaceutical research, that doctors wish that Vioxx were still available for sale, that the number of heart attacks in the US did not go up while Vioxx was being used by millions of Americans, that Merck executives took Vioxx, or that Health Canada has adjudged Vioxx as safe as other NSAIDs.
Plunkett v. Merck plaintiffs' motions in limine