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Vioxx litigation roundup

  • A motion challenging the ethical implications of the settlement was withdrawn before a hearing next week, but a new one was filed by different attorneys Thursday (AP), including Madison/St. Clair County forum-shopper Jeffrey Lowe (cf. Oct. 2005) and his co-counsel law-blogger Evan Schaeffer (not mentioned by name in the AP article). Plaintiffs' Steering Committee member Chris Seeger expresses confidence to the AP that the objection will be withdrawn. If so, one wonders why it's taken two months for the PSC to clear this up with Lowe, an attorney with one of the largest inventories of clients outside the PSC, given the looming January 15 deadline.
  • The AP article cites Merck's co-national counsel on Vioxx, Ted Mayer, as saying that the plaintiffs negotiating committee has explained the settlement to more than 700 lawyers in meetings around the country and none have said they were staying out of the deal. If this is so, barring any efforts by state-court judges to scuttle the deal ultra vires, the settlement will likely go through, with only a handful of unrealistic plaintiffs holding out.
  • The WSJ Law Blog has the Lowe motion, as well as a similar challenge filed by Kentucky and Tennessee attorneys, but hasn't posted the supporting briefs.
  • C-SPAN has announced that they are taping the January 7 AEI/Federalist Society panel on the Vioxx settlement for broadcast at some unknown hour (likely after the New Hampshire primary), but there's still free registration to see it live.
  • Weird goings on a medical-school blog's comments from someone purporting to be plaintiffs' attorney Mark Lanier. Overlawyered has details. (Update: Mark Lanier himself participates in the discussion at Overlawyered.)



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.