LONDON, ON, Jan. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - A settlement has been reached which,
if approved by the courts and fully implemented, will resolve 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
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. If the settlement is approved by the courts,
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. Spouses and children of eligible
claimants may also be eligible for payment.
According to Michael Peerless of Siskinds LLP, one of the lead counsel
for the plaintiffs who negotiated the settlement, "While these were
difficult and protracted negotiations, Merck should be commended for
dealing with this issue in a fair and considered manner."
Class Counsel is very pleased with the settlement which, if approved by
the courts, will result in significant payments being distributed to
eligible claimants. "This is an excellent result in a very challenging
case" says Harvey Strosberg, one of the counsel representing Canadian
Vioxx class members. "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".
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 www.vioxxnationalclassaction.com.
Notices of upcoming settlement approval hearings will be published in
the near future. If the settlement is approved by the courts, further
notices will be published which will include information on how to file
a claim for payment.
SOURCE Siskinds LLP
For further information:
Please contact Michael Peerless at (519) 660-7866 (firstname.lastname@example.org) for English enquiries or Simon Hebert at (418) 694-2009 for French enquiries.