A judge on Friday refused to dismiss a wrongful death suit filed against Merck and Company by a Talladega woman who said its painkiller Vioxx caused her husband’s death.

Clay County Circuit Judge John Rochester rejected the dismissal motion by Merck but will hold a hearing Tuesday on motions by both sides to postpone the scheduled start of the trial.

In calling for dismissal, Merck argued that the Vioxx samples Cheryl Rogers claims killed her husband, Brad, did not even leave the company until six months after he died.

Attorneys for Rogers say the source of the Vioxx samples is irrelevant to the case. Montgomery law firm Beasley Allen is involved in the case. Merck attorney Mike Brock says the defense will still argue the merits of the Rogers case and whether Vioxx directly contributed to Brad Rogers’ death.

A federal judge in New Orleans has asked that the Alabama case scheduled for May 23 be postponed so it wouldn’t interfere with federal litigation. Rochester said he will hold a hearing Tuesday on motions by both sides to postpone the scheduled start of the trial.



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