Merck Vioxx Class Action Settlement Court Approval

Merck’s Super Aspirin was Vioxx

THIS IS AN APRIL 20, 2013 UPDATE OF INFORMATION ABOUT COURT APPROVAL OF THE SETTLEMENT OF THE CANADIAN VIOXX CLASS ACTION NEGOTIATED WITH MERCK BY THE CANADIAN CLASS ACTION LAW FIRMS AND ANNOUNCED OVER A YEAR AGO IN JANUARY 2012. THE SETTLEMENT WAS CONDITIONAL ON COURT APPROVAL AFTER CONSIDERING THE FAIRNESS OF THE TERMS OF SETTLEMENT. FAIRNESS HEARINGS HAVE BEEN HELD IN ONTARIO FOR ALL OF CANADA, EXCEPT SASKATCHEWAN (WHICH HELD A HEARING FOR SASKATCHEWAN JULY 25) AND QUEBEC WHOSE HEARING WAS ON SEPTEMBER 7TH. FINAL COURT APPROVAL OF THE SETTLEMENT WAS GIVEN BY EACH COURT. THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH OF A CASE AGAINST THE SETTLEMENT BROUGHT TO THE COURT TO FORM A BASIS FOR TURNING DOWN THE SETTLEMENT.  THE THREE JUDGES CONSULTED EACH OTHER TO ENSURE CONSISTENCY IN THE THEIR DECISIONS AND REASONS.

The remainder of this post has only been partially updated to note the completion of settlement approval.  For the latest information go to our new web page after reading this.

OUR LAW FIRM, WHICH REPRESENTS OVER 300 VIOXX CLAIMANTS, IS BASED IN ONTARIO AND MURRAY MISKIN ATTENDED THE ONTARIO HEARING ONLY. THE FAIRNESS HEARING IN ONTARIO WAS HELD AT THE LONDON COURTHOUSE 80 DUNDAS STREET ON TUESDAY JULY 17TH AT 10 AM BEFORE MADAM JUSTICE LEITCH OF  THE ONTARIO SUPERIOR COURT. HER HONOUR INDICATED SHE WILL PREPARE A DECISION TO BE RELEASED AFTER CONSULTATION WITH THE SASKATCHEWAN AND QUEBEC JUDGES HEARING THE SAME MOTION.  AT THE HEARING SUBMISSIONS WERE MADE BY MICHAEL PEERLESS OF THE SISKINDS  LAW FIRM ON BEHALF OF THE CLASS ACTION PLAINTIFFS AND BY KATHERINE BEAGAN FLOOD ON BEHALF OF MERCK WITH TWO PEOPLE SPEAKING AGAINST THE SETTLEMENT INCLUDING GARY ROBERTS THE HUSBAND OF ONE OF OUR CLIENTS WHO IS NOT ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION UNDER THE SETTLEMENT.  THE OTHER PERSON SPEAKING WAS MRS. DUFOUR WHO STOPPED USING VIOXX A FEW MONTHS BEFORE HER HEART ATTACK AND WHO WOULD NOT QUALIFY UNDER THE SETTLEMENT. MURRAY MISKIN WHO CAME TO OBSERVE THE PROCEEDINGS WAS ASKED BY THE COURT TO SPEAK AND DID SO ON BEHALF OF HIS CLIENTS SOME OF WHOM SUPPORT AND SOME OF WHOM OPPOSE THE SETTLEMENT.

THE ONTARIO HEARING APPLIED TO ALL CLAIMS EXCEPT THOSE IN QUEBEC AND SASKATCHEWAN. ORDERS HAVE BEEN MADE IN ALL PROVINCES SETTING OUT THE APPROVAL PROCESS REQUIREMENTS. THE FOLLOWING IS A LINK TO THE ONTARIO COURT ORDER SETTING OUT INFORMATION ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT AND THE APPROVAL PROCESS: ONTARIO COURT

The settlement was announced in January 2012 with much attention by the media but there has been almost none since then.  Notices were posted in newspapers nationally about the court dates on June 9, 2012. Everyone who is affected had a right to be heard on this and the settlement is only to be approved by the court if it is believed to be in the best interests of Vioxx victims.  There has been no media coverage of the settlement approval process and this website has been the only source of information on what has happened and what has  happened until now.  There are now official notices and more information at vioxxclassaction.ca

 The following information about Vioxx and the settlement was published in this website’s post before the court approval dates:

Merck’s once popular anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx turned out to be a deadly drug for many people. It was voluntarily withdrawn and then recalled in 2004 with numerous lawsuits that followed, including, in Canada, a Class Action claim which took precedence over possible individual claims under Canadian law. Merck fought claims world wide settling in the USA only after a few years.  Our firm brought some claims in the New Jersey court working with US lawyers on the cases.  When the US case settled in November 2007 it was a term of settlement that all foreign claimants cases had to be dropped by the US lawyers.  At that point the judge handling the case had already ruled that British claimants should proceed in the court of their own country and we were expecting a similar decision for Canadians.  We then had no choice but to wait for the Canadian class action which had been delayed by arguments between lawyers over which law firm would manage the case and then by Merck’s procedural delays and appeals.  When the Canadian case was finally certified to proceed with no further right to appeal some of our clients with stronger cases chose to opt out of the class action so they could make individual claims hoping for better settlements.

In Australia last year Merck did well after a major test case trial which found liability only in heart attack situations and specifically concluded after much expert evidence that there is no proof that Vioxx causes strokes or other cardiovascular problems. The Judge ordered compensation in a heart attack case but that was overturned on appeal by Merck.  The negative finding in stroke cases was not even appealed as the evidence was clearly not enough for proof.  It was after the Australian case victory that Merck was ready to negotiate with the Canadian Class Action lawyers.  The negotiations conducted on behalf of all persons in Canada claiming, resulted in a settlement agreement announced January 19, 2012.  There is a national Vioxx settlement in Canada.  The amount of the settlement is proportionately much less than the US settlement on a per capita basis.  It provides compensation up to $100,000 in heart attack and sudden cardiac death cases and pays an amount capped at $5,000 in ischemic stroke cases.  Stroke compensation does not include payment for Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA). Nothing is paid in the settlement for hemorrhagic strokes or other conditions. This settlement was negotiated with Merck by the Class Action lawyers not the law firms (like ours) representing individual clients. When a settlement agreement was reached by the negotiators it asked for persons who had opted out of the Class Action to agree to opt back in and accept the settlement.  This happened as all the clients now represented by Canadian lawyers who had opted out agreed to accept the settlement. Our opted out clients were not prepared to take the high risk of proceeding with their own individual cases in court. Those who had not opted out of the Class Action were not given a choice.  Our firm acts for a large number of individual clients, and we are determining how each of our clients will benefit (or not) from the settlement). It is a complex settlement factoring dates of use in relation to the cardiac event and with numerous reductions based on risk factors. We have written letters to most of our clients who do not qualify for compensation under the settlement to advise them of their rights.  We have written to others where we need additional information to determine if they will be compensated and for some we are still trying to determine if there is eligibility. We are preparing and sending out actual claim forms to our clients and family members for signature.  We are now submitting claims where the documentation is complete with forms all signed.  We have many clients who clearly benefit from the settlement and we are documenting their claims for compensation.  For people who are not represented by lawyers yet, we are still on request, reviewing situations and accepting retainers in cases that qualify for compensation.

THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPHS HAVE NOT BEEN UPDATED SINCE SETTLEMENT APPROVAL WAS GIVEN:

We have heard from a number of angry clients and others who will receive little or no compensation.  We also have clients who are happy with the settlement and that they will be compensated finally even where the compensation is not believed to be adequate.  If you are not happy with the settlement do speak out and the court will consider what you have to say.  Our firm is not in a position to take a position for or against the settlement as we have many clients who have conflicting views and we can not represent some to the detriment of others. We can not say that we are happy with this settlement. It is not as good a settlement as the one for users of Celebrex or Bextra who suffered similar harm.  We encourage our unhappy clients to get independent advice and legal representation if they wish to oppose the settlement.  To be fair to the class action lawyers it is their view that this is a good settlement which was the best that could be done given the nature of the case and the impact of the Australian court decision. Had Merck been willing to negotiate earlier there is no doubt that the settlement would be better.  In the US the pressure of numerous cases being reached for trial put pressure on Merck to settle much sooner and for a lot more money for each claim.

Further to the Australian trial decision and appeal,  the Australian High Court in May 2012 denied an attempt to appeal the dismissal of the claims and so that is the end for the Australian Vioxx case.  Australia’s laws are similar to Canada’s and the Australian decision has a major legal impact on us.  The decision gives much ammunition to the class action lawyers who argue that the Canadian settlement is a “very good one”. All of this will be considered by the Ontario and Quebec courts when the court approval application is heard. We do expect approval to be given to the settlement and after that claims will be processed.  It is likely that the first settlement money will be received by claimants in early 2013.

Several months ago the NBC TV show Dateline NBC taped an episode including an interview with Pam Cottingham, one of our Vioxx clients, who suffered a serious stroke at age 43 following Vioxx use.  That show was aired on Sunday March 4, 2012 and shows how a drug like Vioxx can still be approved. You can see the entire show below in six parts with the portion dealing with our client and the Vioxx settlement in Canada in Part One.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

We continue to act for everyone in our existing group of clients to get compensation but we are only taking on new cases which qualify under the Canadian settlement.

 

56 Comments

  • Lynn Massey-Davis says:

    My mum took VIOXX between 2001 and 2003 when she died of a heart attack with no previous history, she was 64. My kids have had to grow up without a grandma and my dad was devastated. We live in the uk and were part of an action group for a class action. Now that there has been approval in Canada and Australia, could this strengthen the case of Uk victims’ claims?

  • Clair says:

    January has come and gone, so has February and now we are well into March; still no word from other provinces on accepting the settlement?.

  • Ernest J Stewart says:

    My mother had a stroke and then died of a heart massive heart attack while using Vioxx. I would appreciate any updates .
    Regards,
    Ernest J Stewart

    • admin says:

      Ernest, your mother’s claim is complicated by having a stroke first and then a heart attack. You (or whoever may represent her estate) needs to contact a lawyer to see about making a claim. You can call us to discuss the details.

  • Brigette Paul says:

    Hello , my brother passed away in 2013 due to aneurysm , he complained about his heart , shortness if breath and dizzy , I found a letter regarding this vioxx class action , the aneurysm killed him , websites states aneurysm was one of the effects from taking Vioxx , what are my odds for this claim ?
    Thank you
    B . Paul

    • admin says:

      Brigette, Aneurysm is not included in the Vioxx settlement so a claim can not be made for that. The person must be using Vioxx at or just before a heart attack or stroke to qualify for compensation. If your brother had paperwork related to a possible Vioxx claim maybe he did have a heart attack or stroke earlier when he was using the drug. You may know this or you may have to investigate his health history and see if the paperwork related to Vioxx may have more details or information about him contacting a lawyer earlier.

      • Mostafa Kordlouie says:

        Hi,you told us the court settlement in Canada and Quebec was finished while ago.What happan after that,Why do not contact with victims.How long more we have to wait?
        where is the rusults?
        Pls.contact and let us know what is going on.

  • Kirsteen says:

    Hi could someone explain to me please what is happening with the claims in the uk?

    • admin says:

      The Vioxx claims in the UK were set back severely by the Australian court dismissal of claims. That case caused there to be a less than satisfactory settlement in Canada but in the UK it may be fatal for claims. I do not have up to date information but you should check with Mark Harvey at the Hugh James law firm in London and Cardiff if you do have a UK claim.

  • joyce says:

    DOES THS APPLY TO THE UK CLAIMS ALSO

  • Tim says:

    what a joke! We go thru the heart attacks or whatever and our government gets the money 🙁 No compensation for family members??

  • Joan says:

    HI clair….from what I read on the internet, Quebec approved this on Oct 4.

    • admin says:

      That is correct the Quebec approval of the settlement by Justice Marcotte was issued on October 4th. All 3 courts hearing the application for approval have approved the settlement. We now wait for other provinces’ courts to approve enforcement which is a formality. The wait is ALMOST over.

  • Clair MacPhail says:

    October has come and gone and still no response from Quebec. How long are they going to hold this up?

  • Gary Roberts says:

    My wife’s life has been ruined by this drug, and now fat cat crooked lawyers will be cashing cheques. Murray having met you in London this summer i truly believe you wanted and believed victims deserved millions millions more in compensation. I truly believe as a act of compassion Lawyers involved should give a portion of their fees back to those who have been truly hurt and victimized by this drug. Merck threw a bone
    and hapless lawyers jumped on that bone like starving coyotes. Now do the right thing and give to those who were truly hurt

  • mike says:

    I lost my Dad in 2007 after he suffered his second heart attack because of his long term use of Vioxx. He left a loving wife, 3 children and 6 young grandchildren who he will never see grow up….no hugs, no holidays, no birthdays, no sports, no graduations, no weddings. They will never know his strength and love, and he’ll never experience their love and playfulness. No amount of money will compare to his presence and love for our family, and as time goes on, it’s disgusting to think that my Mom will be receiving such little compensation from this settlement. The families of all loved one’s who were taken from us because of Vioxx deserve more.

  • James Crown says:

    Looks to me that the only winners were the litigators, Canadian government and Merk all at the expense of the common person.

  • Ivan says:

    Very disappointed in not having my mother includedin the settlement. She had a heart attack while on Vioxx and sent you medical proof that she did and yet you send a letter saying she didn’t have the knd of heart attack that was needed to be included in the settlement yet right there in writing it has the EXACT type of heart attack she had. Very disappointed. Think you guys/gals did a poor job for not fighting for everybody.

    • admin says:

      Ivan, I have looked at your mother’s file and that is not what we said. We need more information to document the claim if it is to go ahead. For a claim to be paid we need to prove Vioxx use at a time that is soon before the heart attack. We do not yet have it on the file and have been waiting for a response to our information request. Every “kind of heart attack” can be compensated under the settlement.

  • Brenda says:

    What about the loss of wages that VIOXX took it’s toll on survivors. And to still be suffering from the effects and we are not good enough as the Americans is sure a slap in the face. I am pissed about this crap.

    • admin says:

      Brenda, the American system forced Merck to settle in the US much sooner while the case against them looked much stronger. That is why US residents who qualified were paid more. The Canadian system and the fight for control of the class action together with numerous appeals by Merck delayed the case until after the Australian case was won by Merck. They then were able to get a cheaper settlement in Canada. There is no compensation at all for loss of income in the Canadian Vioxx settlement.

  • Michael Polidori says:

    The executives and scientists running Merck are among the most heinous, callous, greedy people on the planet. In the USA there is a manipulative structure to the settlement, it is not all that different than the Canadian settlement in terms of final compensation. A panel has been set up to review claimants cases one at a time. The $4.85 billion was not a class action settlement, but a fund set up by Merck from which the panel can draw from.
    The Lancet estimated 38-45,000 Americans were killed & over 100,000 survived cardiac events associated with Vioxx. There is a point sytem set up to determine how much, if anything, claimants will receive.
    The New York Times reported in 2007 “Merck won about two-thirds of the Vioxx personal injury lawsuits that went to trial. It settled around 50,000 patient lawsuits in November 2007 for $4.85 billion, which was much less than Wall Street had initially expected.”
    If the Lancet estimates are correct that is about $32,000 per claimant. If NYT #s are used that is around $96,000. Merck, as part of the creation of the fund, denies wrongdoing.
    Whatever is left in the fund is returned to Merck.

    Merck lied in studies to the FDA & every journal they published in. Jeffrey Drazen, New England Journal of Medicine Chief Editor, demanded corrected data in 2005 from Merck after the Vioxx story of Merck’s manipulations & fraud became known. Merck simply refused, the NEJM did not retract their studies.

    Alise Reicin used to be a scientist at Merck. In the early 2000s her job was to run around the country trying to re-write peer reviewers studies on Vioxx deaths and if reviewers refused her re-write offers she threatened them professionally. She is now a Merck executive. rewarded for her loyalty to Merck with money & power. That she contribute to the murders of 10s of thousands of customers isn’t relevant in today’s world.

    Elsevier (Crispin Davis CEO) was exposed creating and/or publishing 22 fake “peer reviewed” journals for 30+ drug companies in 2007. The “journals” had been distributed for years. Elsevier was exposed when it was forced to respond to subpoenas in Australian Vioxx trials. Merck’s name & fake journal were exposed, but Elsevier refused to name the other journals or companies that had paid for them.

    Elsevier apologized, stop the publications or the planning & promised not to do it again. The promise of a company & executives who took money to publish fraudulent material without a disclaimer.

    Our only real solution is to take control of the political systems in our respective countries, first locally then nationally, and somehow get our regulatory authorities to properly control not only drug companies, but all corporate institutions so that they serve the public interest as well as their stockholders.

  • Terry says:

    My life was ruined 8 years ago by Vioxx. Have been on disability CPP since. Lost all opportunity to contribute to my pension for the last 8 years. My wife now supports me and is still working ( she’s 62 years old). I am now 64 and was 56 years old when I had my heart attack. There is no amount of money that can bring back my life. I’m depressed and can hardly muster enough energy to complain. The lawyers make me assemble all the details of my file, and I pay the costs. For what amount, if any, I do not know. If I complain they say we’ll just drop your claim if you don’t like it.
    When I submitted my claim a few years back the lawyers were accommodating but since the claim is now getting closer to payout they are being rude and difficult to deal with.
    Why? Do they get to keep more of the payout if they have less clients who qualify?
    I’m struggling each day to stay alive and see this through. I read that the American settlement was larger than the Canadian as their clients get reimbursed for their hospital costs. Then I see in the details of the Canadian settlement that the health care providers share in the settlement in Canada. Why then was our settlement no comparable to the American one?

  • Randy says:

    Murray,
    Is it true that you had to have a heart attack to get any compensation?
    I was lucky enough (LOL) to only have chest pains – no heart attack.
    I did end up having a triple bypass and now I find out that I will get nothing.
    Once again the Americans got compensation for either a heart attack or surgery.
    So again the Canadians get the shaft.
    In my opinion this is a joke.

  • Craig says:

    Below is the letter we will sending out. I don’t claim that it is a proper letter for the purpose of this action, but, it is the best we could do. We could not afford to engage a lawyer for this.
    The posted letter is intended as an example, as the information contained would not be applicable to everyone.

    XX June 2012

    Claimant name
    address
    phone no.
    e-mail:

    Member of the (Province) Class Action

    Client of : (Law Group)
    Address
    File No.

    Reference Canadian Vioxx Class Action Settlement

    Attention NPT RicePoint Class Action Services:

    I, (Claimant name), submit this letter in protest of the proposed Canadian Vioxx Class Action Settlement. Due to financial constraints I will be unable to attend the hearing and will not be represented at the hearing.

    I suffered my first heart attack at the age of XX after taking Vioxx for more than X years. Vioxx was prescribed by my Physician for arthritis. I suffered X more heart attacks in the following year.

    I had no other contributing conditions or life habits other than smoking less than a package of cigarettes a day. My Physician’s did not feel that my smoking would have caused my heart attacks.

    Up to the time of my heart attack my health was generally good, I had arthritis which was not affecting me much as I was taking pain killers. I truly felt I had at least several more years of being able to work. The heart attacks changed our lives completely. Had I not had the heart attacks we would have been in a position to retire to a moderate life style within X years. Since the heart attacks we struggle to get by and with the proposed settlement we really won’t see an improvement in our standard of living.

    I suffered my first heart attack, at age XX, before Vioxx was removed from the market and continued taking it after the heart attack until Vioxx was removed from the market.

    The blockage in my heart was in a position that was not treatable with a stent, I suffered for another year with numerous trips to hospitals and doctors. I was able to do very little for that year. During that year I did not know whether I would live or die.
    The following year they developed a stent that was placed to clear the blockage in my heart

    From what we can discern from postings on law sites on the internet under the proposed settlement it appears the most I would receive, after legal fees, would be $XXXXX to $XXXXX. This is no where near the amount that Vioxx cost us.

    My lost income would have been around $XXXXX, lost investments would be around $XXXXX, not including investment income we would have received in the years following having to withdraw our investments early, due to Vioxx. We were forced to sell our house X years prior to what we had planned, which cost us close to $XXXXX in lost equity. Not to mention time and monies spent visiting various doctors and hospitals. The cost of Vioxx and other prescription drugs would amount into thousands of dollars to the present day and thousands more for the remainder of my life. My husband retired X years early due to stress, much of it because of the impact of Vioxx on our lives, he lost close to $XXXXX in income as well his pension suffered to the amount of about $XXXXX per year because he retired earlier than planned.

    The total that Vioxx has cost us financially would be in excess of $XXXXX. Needless to say Vioxx has cost us our retirement and has affected our lives immeasurably.

    The stress placed on our marriage by my heart attacks and the pain and suffering is not even considered in the settlement, which to me is incalculable.

    We did not expect to get rich from a settlement, but we did feel that we should be adequately compensated. We had hoped to recover what Vioxx has cost us and the amount that prescriptions would cost us for the remainder of my life. The amount being offered is no where near what we hoped for. The amount we feel is owed would be in the neighborhood of $XXXXX, but have since learned that Canadian Law does not always adequately compensate law suit claimants, so we had hoped for a figure of $XXXXX to $XXXXX after legal fees. With such an amount we would have been grudgingly satisfied.

    Needless to say we will never recover from Vioxx. After having worked, saved and invested for almost XX years, Vioxx has reduced our lives from middle income to a little above the poverty line. Our modest retirement dreams are finished.

    Considering Celebrex and Bextra settled for much more than is being offered to Vioxx users, the cost we suffered from my use of Vioxx and the likely hood that my life has been shortened due to the use of Vioxx we feel that Merck should substantially increase the settlement amount or the Class Action should proceed to court.

    Name and signature of claimant

  • Craig says:

    Murray has provided the contact info for NPT RicePoint Class Action Services above. I am thinking of forwarding the letter to my MP and perhaps the Opposition as well.

  • Craig says:

    Hi Murray
    We have finished our first draft of our letter of protest. We will wait until the 13th to see if our lawyer replies to our e-mail inquiry about protesting the settlement. We doubt we will get a response.
    We will then send a copy of the letter to the hearings notice administrator NPT RicePoint Class Action Services. We will also send a copy of the letter to our MP and likely both opposition parties. This settlement is a travesty.
    Those who oppose the settlement should make as much noise as possible. Shame on Merck and shame on our toothless legal system.
    We would be willing to post our letter, with identifiable information removed, as an example for others and to show just what we feel Vioxx has done to our lives.

  • Craig says:

    Thanks for the latest update Murray.
    We have written our lawyer for an opinion regarding the settlement as we are very unhappy with the settlement. It really isn’t fair to any of the claimants.

  • Craig says:

    Link to Nova Scotia news article: Vioxx settlement ‘hardly worthwhile’ for Canadian claimants

    http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/101473-vioxx-settlement-hardly-worthwhile-for-canadian-claimants

  • James says:

    How much does a claimant lose in their Vioxx claim if they have a preexisting risk factor, like diabetes? Or if they were a smoker or grossly obese?

    • admin says:

      Jim, These are good questions. I am working on a more detailed post to follow on the MANY reductions in Vioxx compensation for various factor as negotiated in the settlement. To answer specifically. For diabetes there is a 25% reduction. For obesity if BMI was over 30 it is an 18% reduction, if over 40 it is a 40% reduction and if over 50 there is a 60% reduction. For smoking there is a 35% reduction. There are also reductions for smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history, prior events,alcohol or drug abuse, age if over 60 and timing of event if after June 26, 2002. Some of these reductions work together to create further reductions. The good news if a person was under 50 or used Vioxx for more than 18 months there is an increase.

  • Craig says:

    Thank you for the reply and latest update on the settlement. I’m certain a lot of claimants are thankful for your updates, without you we would have been wondering all along.
    We will have to wait and see what happens now.
    Thanks again Murray.

  • Craig says:

    Hi Murray.
    Was wondering what was happening with the Vioxx settlement approval, it has been pushed back from soon in January, to late spring early summer and now it is summer 2012.
    Is there any word on opposition to the settlement?
    I really can’t blame people for being upset and opposing the proposed settlement. What really floored me was when I read a news article that claimed the class action lead lawyer praised Merck for settling. First thought was whose side is he on. Second thought was what a slap in the face for those excluded from the settlement.
    Not blaming you Murray, you have been the most informative person on the class action and your comments on the settlement are unbiased and very informative.

    • admin says:

      Craig, Thanks for your support. I am trying to stay balanced in my comments about the Vioxx case in Canada. Not much has been heard from opponents of the settlement lately but perhaps they are organizing quietly. If you read my May 15 update you will know that I have it on good authority that the settlement approval dates are likely to be in September. With the Australian High Court decision of last week it will be difficult for anyone to show that Canadians are getting a bad deal with the settlement. It now looks like people in Australia and perhaps other countries will get no compensation at all.

      • Melanie says:

        What specifically was the settlement in Australia? What are Australians who survived heart attacks while on Vioxx getting for compensation?

        • admin says:

          There is no settlement of the Vioxx claims for Australia; the Federal Court dismissed the claims in May and nobody with a claim will be paid. The court found no liability on Merck and the case is now over. This was a leading consideration in the Canadian settlement when the trial judge after a very lengthy trial dismissed the claims. Now that the decision is upheld it is final.

        • Craig says:

          The Australians won a settlement then lost on appeal, so they are getting nothing.

        • Trevor Whitehead says:

          I am one of the members in the Australian Class Action Peterson v. Merck. There are 1680 members in the class action and we have just been sent a Proposed Settlement Offer. Dated 8th March 2013. We only have until the 17th April 2013 to challenge the Proposed Settlement Offer. I intend to challenge the proposed settlement because our settlement is only based on two conditions. For us to qualify for compensation we need to pass two criteria. 1) Event Gate – Medical evidence of having a MI 2) Usage Gate – purchased Vioxx within a certain time frame compared to the event. We are being offered up to $2000 for people still living and $1500 for family members who have sinced passed. There is no formula and no acknowledgement of other contributing factors I.E. age, the length of time we took Vioxx etc. For me not having these considerations applied to my case is the most disappointing part of the Australian Class Action. I am heading to the court to speak out and I do sincerely hope I am heard. If you have any chance or opportunity to do the same I can only urge you to do so. I was only 38 at the time of my heart attack. All the best to you and your family. trevor.whitehead@bigpond.com

          • admin says:

            The settlement proposal for Australia is quite nominal but with Merck having won the case in court it is surprising that they are offering anything. In Canada it is a similar type of settlement for stroke patients who will get a flat $5,000 assessment with no consideration for more serious strokes or people with lower risk or the younger victims.

  • Alexander Feldschun says:

    I see some people are told by your org. that they definitely qualify for their claim. Can you please let me know if I qualify?

    Thank You,
    Alexander

  • Michele says:

    Have you sent mail out to everyone who qualifies for this claim, or only the ones who do not qualify, please and thanks

  • James Roy Spiece says:

    I am just wondering where I stand in the settlement? Do I qualify?
    Thank you for your attention.

  • Barry Smissaert says:

    Hi Guys……. Just wondering what my status is and the possible ETA of info on the case
    Thanks in addvance…… Barry Smissaert N.B.

    • admin says:

      Hi Barry, You will get something under the settlement but I have sent you a direct email dealing with your personal information. We are still waiting for the court date for approval of the settlement which will determine how long it will take.

  • douglas peters says:

    My life changed financially and emtionally all due to vioxx
    I would appreciate knowing if this settlement goes through when we will receive compensation?

  • James Hensman says:

    Make sure you write in to complain. The more written complaints the court receives the greater the chance approval will not be granted. Without approval new negotiations have to take place or it may even go before the courts.

    • Melanie says:

      Who do we specifically write to, to complain about this? There is no way I am going to let my Dad die an early death due to the subsequent heart failure that effects nearly all heart attack survivors. There is no way he should have had a heart attack in his early 40s. Now his health is nowhere near it should be.

      I am going to fight this. Do you have an address? I want this to go before the courts. My Dad’s voice should be heard. I am tired of Canadians laying down.

      • admin says:

        In the post above there is a link to the website of the company that is to receive contact regarding the settlement. At that website the contact info is noted as:

        NPT RicePoint Class Action Services
        633 Colborne Street, Suite 300
        London, Ontario, N6B 2V3
        Canada

        Phone: (519) 432-5534
        Fax: (519) 432-6544
        Email: info@nptricepoint.com

  • Randy Bouchard says:

    I think this is a slap in the face for all Canadians.
    Merck is basically saying that Canadians are only worth 1/10th of what Americans are worth.
    I am self employed and because of my heart problems my business has dropped 40% in 7 seven years because I do not have the stamina I used to have so therefor am not able to perform as I once could.
    This is on top of all the other physical problems that go along with heart surgery.
    I think the settlement should be inline with the Americans in every aspect.
    But as usual the nice CANADIANS get the short end of the stick.
    I Would like to ask Merck for a kiss as I like to be kissed when I get screwed!

  • admin says:

    I am now posting the following comment from a client William who had posted it to the wrong place:
    “Well, after eight years of waiting you sold most of us out to the big pharmaceutical company Merck. Thanks for nothing Murray. You won’t even appeal on our behalf and settled for peanuts for the people in Canada who died by these murderers. While I live with three tubes in me for the rest of my life. Sleep well Mr. Miskin.”

  • Clair MacPhail says:

    Is there not some way you can let me know whether my claim qualifies for compensation?

    • admin says:

      Clair, Your claim definitely qualifies but I will not be answering that question on this website for everyone who asks. Others can contact me by email to ask. We are in the process of reviewing files in detail to see what is needed for some to determine if they qualify and document it as needed for the settlement. We know some do qualify like you do and we will follow up with those clients later. We have already written to most clients who definitely do not qualify to let them know. Again there is no settlement yet until there is court approval.

  • Kevin Welton says:

    I’ve waited 8 years for nothing. I still suffer with heart problems almost daily, Been in and out of the hospital several times, and now I am not qualified to get compensation under the current Vioxx claim settlement. Some one should be ashamed. I was first told I had a heart attack. It sure felt like it but it turned out to be Angina.
    Kevin

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