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

Friday, August 19, 2005
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
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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 is a consumer health advocate and award-winning journalist with a mission to teach personal and planetary health to the public He has authored more than 1,800 articles and dozens of reports, guides and interviews on natural health topics, and he has authored and published several downloadable personal preparedness courses including a downloadable course focused on safety and self defense. Adams is a trusted, independent journalist who receives no money or promotional fees whatsoever to write about other companies' products. In 2010, Adams co-founded, a natural health video sharing site that has now grown in popularity. He also launched an online retailer of environmentally-friendly products ( and uses a portion of its profits to help fund non-profit endeavors. He's also a noted technology pioneer and founded a software company in 1993 that developed the HTML email newsletter software currently powering the NaturalNews subscriptions. Adams also serves as the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a non-profit consumer protection group, and regularly pursues cycling, nature photography, Capoeira and Pilates. He's also author a large number of health books offered by Truth Publishing and is the creator of numerous reference website including and the free downloadable Honest Food Guide. His websites also include the free reference sites and Adams believes in free speech, free access to nutritional supplements and the innate healing ability of the human body. Known as the 'Health Ranger,' Adams' personal health statistics and mission statements are located at

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Related Articles:

Merck litigation strategy - destroy expert witnesses

Leaked documents show Merck knew of Vioxx dangers, yet hid them for years

Merck caught in scandal to bury Vioxx heart attack risks, intimidate scientists and keep pushing dangerous drugs; Vioxx lawsuits now forming

The FDA Exposed: An Interview With Dr. David Graham, the Vioxx Whistleblower

Journal Corrects Vioxx Article to Reflect Short-Term Heart Risk (press release)

Merck Sat on Data Showing Vioxx Risks for Years Before Pulling Drug

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