US court upholds $13.5-million verdict against Merck & Co. over Vioxx

A New Jersey Superior Court judge dismissed Merck & Co.'s request for a new trial or a reduction in damages related to a $13.5-million product liability verdict over Vioxx, Bloomberg reports. The jury in the case had ruled that the drug caused the plaintiff's heart attack and awarded $4.5 million in compensatory damages, as well as $9 million in punitive damages.

Additionally, judge Carol Higbee awarded the plaintiff and his wife $2 million in attorney fees and costs, plus interest of $2552 a day on the total amount starting August 13. The plaintiff, who took Vioxx for four years, sued Merck in 2005.

Merck did not comment on the decision.

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