It was announced today that cases involving claims arising out of the use of Vioxx will be transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans.
The Multi-district Litigation panel that met in Fort Myers, Florida on January 27 assigned the Honorable Eldon Fallon, U.S. District Court Judge, to preside over all Vioxx cases filed in federal courts.
Attorney Andy Birchfield, whose firm Beasley Allen in Montgomery, Alabama, already has filed 100 Vioxx cases, said: “We are pleased with the jurisdiction and with the judge assigned to these cases. Judge Fallon is experienced in products liability litigation, including pharmaceuticals, and has proven to be fair and efficient.”
According to Birchfield: “Never before in the pharmaceutical industry has a major drug been pulled off the market with litigation as advanced as this is.”
Beasley Allen has been litigating Vioxx cases for three years—since November 2001—long before the drug was pulled off the market. “This is unprecedented in the history of mass tort litigation,” Birchfield said.
The law firm is currently processing more than 20,000 Vioxx cases and expects to file hundreds of lawsuits against Merck in the coming months. The first Vioxx case will be tried by Beasley Allen in May of this year.