Glynn v. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. (3:11-cv-05304, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey) started trial in April 2013. Evidence was presented from internal documents and experts from both sides as to the benefits and risks of Fosamax. The jury was asked to decide if Fosamax was defective, whether Merck provided adequate warnings, and whether Fosamax is the cause of the femur fracture suffered by Plaintiff Bernadette Glynn on April 17, 2009.
Prior to trial, Merck filed for Summary Judgment to dismiss the case or key portions of it. Merck argued that Plaintiff could not establish the failure to warn element since none of Ms. Glynn’s prescribing Doctors testified they would have changed their decision to prescribe if given a different warning. In a 16 page opinion on April 11, 2013, Judge Pisano denied the motion as to the failure to warn, breach of implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and punitive damages, finding there were triable issues of fact.
Merck also sought to have the opinions of Plaintiffs experts Drs. Charles N. Cornell, Michael J Klein, David Madigan, and Cheryl Blume excluded under Federal rule of evidence 702 and Daubert vs Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals,Inc 509 US 579, 594-95 ( 1992). However, in a decision dated April 10, 2013, Judge Pisano denied the motion to exclude this key testimony finding the experts qualified and their methodology reliable.
Previously, trial started March 2013 in another femur fracture case brought by Christina Su who used Fosamax for over five years that had to be discontinued due to an unrelated health problem.
According to Merck’s own filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), there are 2,075 Fosamax femur lawsuits in New Jersey state court, 420 cases in California state court and another 850 cases consolidated before a federal judge in New York.
On April 29, 2013, the jury found in favor of Merck.
Glynn vs. Merck was the first Fosamax femur fracture case to be tried as the Su case resulted in a mistrial. There have been seven Fosamax cases tried where the allegation was Fosamax caused jaw injuries. Of those, Plaintiffs have won two of the seven cases (Boles v. Merck and Scheinberg v. Merck).
These medications were the subject of a U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) advisory issued in October 2010, after studies indicated that people taking bisphosphonates for osteoporosis are at risk of suffering atypical femur fractures. The agency advised doctors to be aware of the possible risk associated with Fosamax and similar drugs, and consider periodic reevaluation of the need for continued treatment in patients taking the medications for longer than five years.
History teaches us it is not unusual for the manufacturer to win a number of cases before ultimately dealing with the reality it face (see Vioxx, Dalkon Shield).
We continue to represent a number of people who used Fosamax and suffered atypical femur fracture. We believe that ultimately Merck will be held accountable in these cases. If you would like more information, check the video below, go to our website, or contact us at 1-800-481-1615 or email us.