[JURIST] A civil court in Berlin Wednesday dismissed two claims against a German distributor of the drug Vioxx [JURIST news archive], manufactured by US pharmaceutical firm Merck & Co. [corporate website], citing plaintiffs' failures in both cases to demonstrate a causal connection between the drug and symptoms. The court held that "expressing a vague suspicion is not enough" in dismissing both a €80,000 damages suit and a separate request for information from the company about potential side-effects. The German distributor and both claimants remain unnamed.
Earlier this month, a New Jersey judge rejected [JURIST report] roughly 50 lawsuits against Merck brought by British plaintiffs in the New Jersey state court system, holding that "compensatory damages are available to the plaintiffs in the UK courts." About a dozen related US state and federal [JURIST reports] lawsuits have gone to trial within the last two years against Merck, with the drug manufacturer winning about half of the cases. There are over 18,000 Vioxx lawsuits pending against Merck in the US, but the statute of limitations, which is two years in many states, will expire soon since Vioxx was removed from shelves in September 2004. AP has more.