The WSJ reports ($$$) that in Texas today, a jury found Merck liable for the death of Leonel Garza, a 71 year old man who died of a heart attack a month after beginning to take Vioxx. Garza had a history of heart disease, undergoing quadruple bypass surgery in 1989. He was a smoker. And Vioxx increases risk of heart attack only after 18 months of use. As Merck attorney Richard Josephson put it: "He had every single risk factor that you can have...The idea that Mr. Garza was in good health and only had a 1% chance of having a heart attack is science fiction..."
Merck has been ordered to pay $7 million in damages.