Saturday, April 20, 2013

Canada-wide Vioxx settlement approved

A settlement has been approved which resolves Vioxx claims across Canada. Class actions were filed across Canada on behalf of individuals who used and/or purchased Vioxx, a prescription pain medication distributed by Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. ("Merck"), which was available in Canada until September 30, 2004. The lawsuits included allegations that individuals ingesting Vioxx were placed at an increased risk of experiencing various medical conditions including a heart attack (myocardial infarction), sudden cardiac death, or ischemic stroke and that a proper warning of these increased risks was not provided. The allegations made in the class actions have not been proven in court and the courts have not taken any position as to the truth or merits of the claims or defences asserted by either side. Merck denies the allegations and states that it made the results of its studies available to the scientific community and regulatory authorities around the world. The settlement is for up to $36,881,250.00 depending upon the number of claims ultimately approved, and includes payments to provincial health insurers, payments towards legal costs, and payments for notice and claims administration. Individuals (or their estates) may be eligible to receive payment if they took Vioxx and then experienced a myocardial infarction, sudden cardiac death or ischemic stroke while taking, or shortly after stopping, Vioxx. Spouses and children of eligible claimants may also be eligible for payment. Under the terms of the settlement, eligible claimants will receive payment based on the type of event they experienced and a number of other factors including duration of use of Vioxx and risk factors. Class Counsel is very pleased with the settlement which will result in significant payments being distributed to eligible claimants. According to Michael Peerless of Siskinds LLP, one of the lead counsel for the plaintiffs who negotiated the settlement, "It is an excellent result in a very challenging case." Individuals in Canada who used Vioxx are represented by a consortium of firms across the country. Further information for class members is available at the website Claim forms can be obtained at: or by contacting the Claims Administrator, NPT Ricepoint Class Action Services, at: 1-888-507-8759

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