Big Win for Merck in Bellwether Fosamax Trial

Posted by msch on Feb 14, 2011 11:24:00 AM

Judge Carol HigbeeRosenberg v. Merck -- A New Jersey jury this morning found that a Fosamax user did not suffer from osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), and therefore she failed to show that Fosamax caused the harm.

Allison Rosenberg's physician prescribed for her the osteoporosis medication Fosamax (alendronate), even after she was no longer osteoporitic and was only mildly osteopenic. Ms. Rosenberg claimed that Merck knew and should have warned her physician that oral biphosphonates could cause ONJ. Ms. Rosenberg endured five operations to remove parts of her jaw.

Butler Snow's Christy Jones argued on behalf of Merck that Merck accurately and timely warned of a risk, and that Merck did not know, and does not even now know, whether Fosamax causes ONJ, because ONJ has so many causes.

The first question to the jury was, "Has the plaintiff proven that it is more likely than not that Allison Rosenberg had ONJ?"  The jury voted "No," by a margin of 9-1.

Three prior Fosamax trials in federal court resulted in two defense verdicts and one plaintiff verdict. Merck has now won three of the first four Fosamax trials.

CVN webcast the New Jersey Rosenberg Fosamax trial live.

Topics: Toxic Torts, Products Liability, Pharmaceutical, In re: Fosamax