I understand that opportunities to cross examine the expert witnesses was limited possibly preventing adequate exposure of this issue, but skipping legal technicalities, there seems to be so much shadow of a doubt that it doesn't seem that this particular plaintiff should have gotten anything. One begins to suspect that the jury felt it was their duty to punish Merck, as opposed to considering the merits of this specific case.I posted on the PA board and stronger opinion about the "shadow of a doubt" issue. The plaintiff's attorney closing argument said something to the effect that "51% confidence" in Vioxx being the causative factor in this death was sufficient. The problem is that no reputable doctor would bet his/her lunch, much less $230m, that he/she was greater than "51%" sure of the connection.I do think that you can make a reasonable case that Merck owes even if this plaintiff something. It's actions prevented the plaintiff from making an informed consent to the treatment. But that is not worth $230m.I think the ideal case to take on Merck would be a younger person without significant risk factors who, unexplainably, has a heart attack while taking Vioxx. There are probably some of these out there but, even here, you couldn't say that Vioxx was certainly responsible.I think this is merely the opening salvo in the battle. We'll see what Merck's next move is.
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