Thursday, August 03, 2006

Merck 5, Plaintiffs 3

Merck has expanded its lead over Plaintiffs in the Vioxx Lawsuit Marathon being run across the country.

The latest victory for Merck came in California as Chris Plaictella has reported in his Mass Tort Update blog.

"Everyone watching the trial, including hopeful plaintiffs lawyers, predicted the loss," Placitella wrote.

The jury evidently agreed.
"We didn't feel that a case was ever made that there is a connection between Vioxx and heart attacks," said jury foreman Charles Sullenger, 59. "In the end it simply boiled down to the burden of proof was not met in our opinion."

Jurors, however, agreed that there were potential risks for users taking Vioxx based on scientific studies.

"Keep the faith," Placitella said. "There will be many 100° days for Merck in the future."

Ohio Supreme Court Voids Woman's Death Sentence

Still Facing Death in Resentencing

The Ohio Supreme Court has decided that a judge stepped over the legal line when he got the prosecution involved in his sentencing opinion of a woman convicted in the 2001 killing of her ex-husband.

The court, however, did not nullify the conviction of Donna M. Roberts, who could still face the death penalty in resentencing.

According to news accounts of the ruling:
The majority opinion, by Justice Maureen O'Connor, said the trial court's delegation of any amount of responsibility in the sentencing opinion did not comply with state law.

"Nor does it comport with our firm belief that the consideration and imposition of death are the most solemn of all the duties that are imposed on a judge," O'Connor wrote. "The scales of justice may not be weighted even slightly by one with an interest in the ultimate outcome."
Roberts is the first woman sentenced to death in Ohio since that state resumed executions in 1999.