NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A Texas appeals court has scrapped a 26
million-dollar verdict against the drugmaker Merck stemming from
the first trial involving its once popular painkiller Vioxx.
The 14th Court of Appeal in Houston found no evidence that
Robert Ernst suffered a fatal heart problem from a blood clot
triggered by Vioxx. He had been taking the now-withdrawn drug for
eight months before being stricken in May 2001.
His widow had won a $253 million verdict against New
Jersey-based Merck in 2005, but Texas punitive damage caps later
cut that to about $26 million.