Plaintiffs attorneys Andy Birchfield and Christopher Seeger, co-lead counsel for the Multi District Litigation in regard to Vioxx cases against Merck, said today the New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company is being arrogant in not facing up to its responsibilities to consumers.
Both attorneys made their statements in response to Mercks position, in the aftermath of losing the first Vioxx trial in Texas, that they will vigorously defend them (cases) one by one over the coming years.
Mr. Birchfield of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles in Montgomery, Alabama: It is unfortunate and unconscionable that Merck will not accept responsibility for its actions in putting a dangerous drug on the market. Instead of accepting responsibility, Merck is defiantly refusing compensation to victims of Vioxx. How Merck could take this position in view of the paper trail that clearly proves it knowingly put a dangerous product on the market is unbelievable and shocking.
Mr. Seeger added: We are committed to working together on the massive problems caused to thousands of people who trusted Merck to put a safe product on the market and who later learned that they had been betrayed. Vioxx should never have been put on the market by Merck. Merck should accept responsibility and begin compensating victims, but it has publicly stated that it will not. So, we are prepared to try these cases one at a time for as long as it takes, until every victim receives the justice deserved.
Both agree: It will take a team effort on the part of lawyers representing Vioxx victims to make sure that justice is done. This is a monumental undertaking and one that will be a challenge to all of us. We are confident that our team will be up to the challenge.
Birchfield and Seeger were selected to co-lead MDL litigation as members of the Plaintiffs Steering Committee involving Vioxx cases filed in federal court in April by U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon.
Committee members work together to prepare the cases for trial, including gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, choosing expert witnesses, and developing overall strategy. They also meet with the judge and Merck’s lawyers on a regular basis.