A federal jury on Wednesday cleared Merck of liability for a 2003 nonfatal heart attack suffered by a Utah bank manager who had taken Vioxx for more than 10 months.
Charles Mason, 64, switched to Vioxx after years of taking anti-inflammatory drugs because of back pain. He was seeking about $690,000 in lost wages and other damages.
Merck attorneys, in closing arguments Wednesday, said Vioxx had nothing to do with Mr. Mason’s heart attack because he took the once-popular painkiller for less than a year and stopped taking it four days before his heart attack.
Mr. Mason’s attorney, Ed Blizzard, countered that the drug’s effects didn’t go away between the Monday that Mason began taking a different painkiller for chest pains and the Friday of his heart attack.
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here