The Fosamax litigation is about to start a new chapter. The first Fosamax lawsuit was filed about six years ago. As we have previously reported, suits against Merck, the drug’s manufacturer, fall into two categories: the first group by Plaintiffs alleging they suffer from osteonecrosis (jaw damage), and a second group by persons who suffered a non-traumatic femur fracture as a result of taking the drug.

In total, more than 3,000 cases have been filed in state courts and in two separate multi-district litigations. The femur fracture trials have yet to begin. Merck will soon face the next wave of cases. The bellwether trials in the femoral fracture suits are set for this year. The first suit was filed against Merck over Fosamax in 2006. In the next two years 700 lawsuits were filed alleging that the drug maker failed to warn users of the potential risk of osteonecrosis of the jaw, or severe jaw decay. The suits were consolidated into an MDL in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The Plaintiffs allege that they suffered injuries including infections or sores on their jawbone, many had teeth fall out, and with others their jaw bones literally decayed.

There are already more femur suits than jaw cases filed, with more than 2,000 pending in the MDL in the New Jersey federal court. The femur cases deal with sudden, catastrophic fractures without evidence of any trauma. They occur when patients, in the middle of a stride, suffer a fracture of the femur. When the femur is fractured, the patient must undergo surgery. In the surgery, an open reduction internal fixation, a doctor cuts the thigh open and uses a rod inside the bone to bolt it back together.

U.S. District Court Judge Carole E. Higbee has scheduled bellwether trials in the femur cases starting in the spring of 2013. Merck has let it be known that it intends to “vigorously defend” the cases on this subject. Lawyers in our firm have handled both jaw injury and femur cases. If you need additional information, contact Chad Cook or Leigh O’Dell, lawyers in our Mass Torts Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at or

Source: Lawyers USA Online

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