Casino workers to decide next Vioxx case
The Associated Press reports that Atlantic City casino workers will help decide whether drug manufacturer Merck & Co. is to blame for heart attacks suffered by two New Jersey men who were taking Vioxx. A 10-person jury — five of them casino-hotel workers — was picked recently to hear the cases, which have been consolidated into one by a judge overseeing more than 5,000 similar New Jersey lawsuits against Merck over the troubled arthritis drug it took off the market in 2004. Four of the 10 will serve as alternate jurors, but those won''t be chosen until testimony in the approximately four-week trial is over. Merck, which faces about 9,650 Vioxx suits in state and federal courts, has won two of the cases and lost one so far. A mistrial was declared in another Vioxx case, and the fifth is currently under way in a Texas state court.