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Original Source: FD (FAIR DISCLOSURE) WIRE
. Kent Jarrell, APCO Worldwide, SVP IR . Phil Beck, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott, Attorney . Mike Tolson, Houston Chronicle, Media . Thom Weidlich, Bloomberg News, Media . Paul Hamkazam, Media
The Co. reported that on 11/15/2006 a federal jury sitting in New Orleans returned a defense verdict in the Multi-District Litigation, Mason vs. MRK.
S1. Introduction (K.J.) 1. Opening Comments: 1. On 11/15/2006, a federal jury sitting in New Orleans returned a defense verdict in the Multi-District Litigation, Mason vs. MRK. 2. Of the 16 cases that have now been scheduled for trial and are no longer pending, only four have resulted in a plaintiff's verdict.
3. Juries have decided in MRK's favor in seven cases and five
cases have been dismissed. 4. Another five cases, previously scheduled for trial, have been withdrawn from the trial calendar by the plaintiffs before the claims could reach trial. 5. As for the four plaintiff's verdicts, MRK already has filed an
appeal or sought judicial review at each of those cases, and
in one of those four, federal judge [Elvan Phalen] overturned
the damage award shortly after trial. 6. Additionally, a state judge set aside one of the seven MRK verdicts. 7. The claims of more than 3,000 plaintiff groups, not yet scheduled for trial, have been dismissed. 1. That includes more than 1,100 plaintiff groups whose claims were dismissed with prejudice either by plaintiffs themselves or by the courts, meaning they cannot be filed again. 2. More than 2,000 additional plaintiff groups have had their claims dismissed without prejudice.
S2. MDL Trial (P.B.) 1. Announcement: 1. The Co. is happy with the verdict today. 2. MRK believes that it's an indication of the approach that the Co. has taken of trying each one of these cases individually, one at a time. 3. MRK had a unanimous verdict and the jury deliberated for probably 1.5-2.0 hours.
4. MRK believes that the jury focused both on whether VIOXX could
have possibly caused this particular heart attack which MRK
does not …