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Byline: Lewis Krauskopf
Sep. 11--Starting Monday, lawyers, Wall Street analysts and former users of Vioxx will turn their eyes to a state court in Atlantic City.
Jury selection begins in the first of nearly 2,500 product liability lawsuits filed in the court over the painkiller, which Merck & Co. withdrew from the market a year ago after a company study showed an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
The case -- of a Vietnam veteran from Idaho who suffered a heart attack after two months on Vioxx -- will be the second to go to trial. In the first case, the Whitehouse Station-based company last month lost a whopping $253 million verdict to the widow of a Texas man.
Now Merck is looking to rebound in its home state, the venue for half the Vioxx cases filed so far.
"If Merck faces a significant verdict in the second case, we expect Merck to begin to realistically address for the first time their national litigation strategy," said Michael Galpern, a Cherry Hill attorney who says his firm is handling …