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If certain conditions are met, Merck will pay a fixed amount of $4.85 billion into a settlement fund for qualifying claims.
Merck & Co. has entered into an agreement to resolve state and federal myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke claims relating to Vioxx product liability filed in the United States.
If certain conditions under the agreement are met, Merck will pay a fixed amount of $4.85 billion into a settlement fund for qualifying claims that enter into the resolution process, according to a press release from Merck.
“This is not a class-action settlement. Claims will be evaluated on an individual basis,” Merck officials stated in the release.
Merck reached the agreement with the law firms that comprise the executive committee of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee of the federal multidistrict Vioxx (rofecoxib) litigation, as well as representatives of plaintiffs’ counsel in state coordinated proceedings.
The agreement also applies to tolled claims and was signed by both parties on Nov. 9 after they met with three of the four judges overseeing the coordination of more than 95% of the current claims in the Vioxx litigation, according to the release.
“The agreement is structured to provide a significant degree of certainty toward resolving the majority of the outstanding Vioxx product liability claims in the United States for a fixed amount,” said Richard T. Clark, chairman, president and CEO of Merck, in the release.
Creating separate funds
Under the agreement, separate funds will be created, with $4 billion allocated for myocardial infarction claims and $850 million for ischemic stroke claims.