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Merck's mistrial.

A lawsuit against pharmaceutical giant Merck ended in a mistrial in early September after the jury failed to reach a verdict. It was the company's first of more than 900 product liability lawsuits involving bone-density drug Fosamax to make it to trial.


In 2007, 71-year-old Shirley Boles filed the suit against Merck claiming the drug, which she took from 1997 to 2006, caused her to suffer dental and jaw problems. Plaintiffs in the other Fosamax cases make similar assertions, claiming the drug causes death of the jaw bone, also known as osteonerosis.

"The plaintiff failed to prove her case before this jury," said Paul Strain, a Venable partner who represented Merck, in a statement after the judge declared the mistrial. "The jury notes included one presented to Judge Keenan on Sept. 9 signed by seven of the eight jurors ... stating that the seven jurors 'agree that there is no evidence of proof that Fosamax caused Mrs. Boles's injury.'" The eighth juror, who claimed to have been threatened, was the holdout.

The case is scheduled to be retried in spring 2010.

On Sept. 9, Merck lost a legal bid to dismiss 24 other lawsuits related to Fosamax.
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Title Annotation:LITIGATION
Author:Flahardy, Cathleen
Date:Nov 1, 2009
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