Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Merck Wins Reversal of Vioxx Ruling in Saskatchewan

From Bloomberg:
Merck & Co., after settling most of its Vioxx lawsuits in the U.S., persuaded an appeals court to halt one of two national group lawsuits in Canada claiming the painkiller caused heart attacks and strokes. The drugmaker still faces trial in Ontario, Canada’s most-populous province.

A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan ruled unanimously yesterday there were too many different issues involved to resolve in a class-action lawsuit and a lower court judge erred in allowing the plaintiffs to proceed as a group.

The case “gives the impression of commonality, where commonality in fact does not exist,” Judge Gene Ann Smith wrote on behalf of the panel.

The ruling bodes well for Canadian plaintiffs because pursuing one national lawsuit, rather than two, may be quicker, Michael Peerless, a lawyer representing the Ontario plaintiffs, said in a telephone interview today. ...more

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