For immediate release
Co-lead counsel for all Vioxx multi-district litigation believes that the public is entitled to full and complete disclosure of all available and currently protected information regarding the drug's dangers.
Montgomery, Alabama (April 28, 2005) – In today's press conference, Jere Beasley, founding shareholder at the law firm taking the first Vioxx lawsuit to trial in May, Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C, called upon Merck to join him in asking Judge Rochester to lift a protective order which prohibits the release of protected information regarding the drug's dangers. The motion – if granted – would remove all documents, depositions, and other evidentiary items pertaining to the drug from the Protective Orders that are currently in effect.
"We know a great deal about Vioxx that is currently protected," stated Mr. Beasley. "We have documents that the FDA has never seen that go back as far as 1996-1997 that indicates that Merck knew full well that Vioxx would cause heart attacks and strokes. I suspect that the public would be shocked to know that to this very day Merck has never done any clinical trials, no studies that specifically address the issue.
"We believe that the public is entitled to a full and complete disclosure concerning what all Merck knew about the dangers and risks associated with taking Vioxx and when they first obtained this knowledge," he continued.
"Since Merck has engaged in a public relations effort to discredit our client and law firm in the Clay County, Alabama, Vioxx lawsuit, I believe that the public is now entitled to hear the rest of the story about the drug. Fair play and a need for the public disclosure concerning this drug would be served by removing all Protective Orders and confidentiality concerning Vioxx."
According to a motion filed last week by Beasley Allen, Merck violated a protective order by disclosing personal and confidential information to the news media related to Cheryl Rogers and her deceased husband (Circuit or State Court of Clay County in Ashland, Ala, case number CV 03-073, Cheryl Rogers V. Merck). In addition, the motion cites Merck has violated provisions of HIPAA by disclosing personal medical information pertaining to Mr. Rogers. The motion requests that the court vacate its protective order as it relates to documents produced by Merck.
Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. has been in the forefront of the effort to have all of the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors (Bextra, Celebrex and Vioxx) taken off the market since the law firm took on its first case against Merck more than four years ago. Beasley Allen is spearheading the review of over 31,000 claims against the manufacturers of Bextra, Celebrex, and Vioxx, having filed over 160 cases to date.
About Beasley Allen
Headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama, Beasley Allen is comprised of over 45 attorneys and 200 support staff. Beasley Allen is a national leader in civil litigation, having settled verdicts and settlements amounting to nearly $15 billion.