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Merck loses Vioxx lawsuit: jury awards $253.4 million to widow

Friday, August 19, 2005
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: Merck, Vioxx, dangerous drugs

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It's simultaneously a milestone for consumer advocacy and a major setback for Big Pharma: a Texas jury has found Merck & Co. liable for the death of a Vioxx patient, and it has awarded the widow $253.4 million in damages. The 10-2 jury vote sends a powerful message to drug companies around the globe: if you continue to manufacture and sell products that kill people, you will eventually pay the price.

A whopping $229 million of that jury award was designated as punitive damages. This shows that members of the jury not only found Merck liable for the direct financial costs of one death, but they also saw Merck's actions as unethical, dishonest and punishable. This award is saying that Merck should pay for being evil.

Now, of course, that's just one interpretation of the jury's decision. Merck's own lawyers would no doubt disagree, and a verdict appeal is already underway. But even Merck can no longer deny that the free people of this land, when given a fair look at the evidence, will overwhelmingly vote to punish the company for its rather obvious wrongdoing. When you keep selling a deadly drug for years after your own research shows it to double the risk of heart attacks, that's something most people would consider evil, if not downright criminal.

You see, drug companies can control the media through advertiser influence; they can control the FDA through corruption and collusion; and they can control doctors and consumers through bribery and distorted advertising. But they can't control the outcome of a jury of everyday people who finally woke up and saw the obvious: pharmaceuticals are killing us.

Pharmaceuticals are dangerous to your health

As I have written on this site, pharmaceuticals are in fact 16,400% more dangerous than terrorists. Even legal, FDA-approved pharmaceuticals kill 100,000 Americans each year. That dwarfs the number of Americans killed by terrorists, automobile accidents, murders, and all forms of violent crime combined. Modern medicine is, astoundingly, the fourth leading cause of death in this country.

Today, a Texas jury said, "Enough is enough!" It sent a message that Big Pharma can no longer ignore: when you manufacture and sell a product that outright kills people, it's going to cost you. Just like it did Big Tobacco. Most likely, Big Pharma, has only seen the beginning of this backlash.

Now it's time to ramp up the Vioxx lawsuits all across the country, then hit the drug companies with litigation on other drugs, including over-the-counter drugs. As many as 60,000 Americans may have been killed by Vioxx alone, according to figures from the FDA's own drug safety department. Likewise, an astounding 16,500 Americans are killed each year from gastrointestinal bleeding caused by over-the-counter pain medications. While the FDA consistently minimizes the dangers of drugs and seemingly does everything in its power to keep deadly drugs on the market, the legal system in this country is now showing it can fight back and begin to seek some small semblance of justice by holding drug companies financially accountable.

Crimes against humanity

Still, regardless of the outcome of this trial or future ones, the real story here has yet to be told. The real story is not merely that Merck is responsible for manufacturing a drug that has killed tens of thousands, but that the pharmaceutical industry itself is engaged in holocaust-class crimes against humanity that exploit human suffering for corporate profits.

Many of today's top pharmaceutical companies are, in fact, the corporate offspring of the very same pharma operations that owned and operated concentration camps in Nazi Germany. Back then, it was all done under the justification of political / military victory. Today, it is done under the justification of modern medicine. The result, however, is much the same: millions of people dead, billions of dollars in profits.

With this $253 million verdict, this Texas jury has opened a window of possibility that could spark a massive outcry and popular retaliation against these drug companies that are killing our seniors, drugging our working class, and chemically lobotomizing our children. In a nation of genuine justice, this award will stand, and it will unleash a tidal wave of legal action against these corporate monstrosities that have taken from us our mothers and fathers, grandparents, brothers, sisters and even our children. In any other context, the sheer number of victims would be considered casualties of war, and the free people of this country would rise up to defend their families against such assaults.

This war, it seems, will be fought in the courtroom. And today, Merck just got a dose of its own medicine.

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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and Native American Indians. He's also of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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