Trial of Fosamax Jaw Necrosis Lawsuit Set To Begin September 7

The next trial date for a Fosamax lawsuit involving jaw necrosis is scheduled to begin early next month. 

The Fosamax trial will involve a complaint brought by Linda Secrest, of Florida, who alleges that Merck failed to adequately warn that side effects of Fosamax, the popular osteoporosis drug, can lead to severe jaw bone decay. Trial is scheduled to begin on September 7, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Fosamax is an osteoporosis drug that belongs to a family of similar medications known as bisphosphonates. Long-term use of oral bisphosphonates has been linked to an increased risk of serious and debilitating jaw problems, known as osteonecrosis of the jaw. The condition causes the jaw bone to decay and rot, often resulting in the need for surgery to remove portions of the jaw.

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Merck currently faces more than 1,100 Fosamax jaw lawsuits, most of which have been consolidated and centralized for pretrial proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York as part of an MDL or multidistrict litigation.

There have already been several trials for Fosamax jaw necrosis lawsuits that have been held in the federal MDL over the last two years. While Merck has successfully defended its medication in three cases, one lawsuit resulted in an $8 million jury award for Fosamax jaw damage last year, finding that Merck failed to adequately research the potential side effects of warn about the risk of jaw necrosis from Fosamax.

While the outcome of these early trials, known as bellwether cases, are not binding in other lawsuits that have been filed, they are often used to help the parties gauge the relative strengths and weaknesses of their arguments, possibly promoting a Fosamax settlement agreement or other resolution for the litigation.

In recent months, Merck has also faced a growing number of lawsuits over bone fractures from Fosamax, allege that users suffered spontaneous femur fractures or other bone breaks as a result of the medication. Earlier this year, all Fosamax bone fracture lawsuits were consolidated in a separate MDL, or multidistrict litigation, which is centralized in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

1 Comments

  • JohnSeptember 19, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Problem is if you live in Michigan you are not allowed to sue drugmakers for side effects even when hurt. There seem to be two sets of laws in the U.S. one for Michigan residents and one for the rest of the country. Michigan residents are treated like 2nd. class citizens by our lawmakers. Its time the law in michigan protecting drug makers gets changed.

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