LINDA A. JOHNSON | AP Business Writer
3:17 PM CDT, August 3, 2009
Merck pulled the blockbuster painkiller from the market in September 2004 because it doubled risk of heart attack and stroke.
In late 2007, Merck reached a $4.85 billion settlement covering roughly 50,000 plaintiffs claiming they or a relative had been harmed or killed by Vioxx.
One of the lead attorneys in the third-party payer litigation,
Chicago business attorney, had estimated Merck could have lost up to $18 billion — about three-quarters of its entire annual revenue. That's because the claims were consolidated in New Jersey, where courts allow for triple damages.