HOUSTON – The Lanier Law Firm is announcing its plans to appeal a decision issued today by the 14th Court of Appeals in Brazoria County in favor of Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK).
In the ruling, the court overturned a jury’s determination that the controversial painkiller Vioxx caused the death of a 59-year-old triathlete who died after taking the drug for less than nine months.
“Activist judges are protecting corporate executives and stripping away the rights of widows and every other victim of corporate misconduct. We are filing an appeal,” says attorney Mark Lanier, lead counsel for plaintiff Carol Ernst and founder of The Lanier Law Firm. “This decision was handed down by a group of judges who regularly accept campaign contributions from law firms representing corporations that appear in their courts. We will appeal this decision to the United States Supreme Court if necessary.”
Vioxx was withdrawn from the U.S. market in September 2004 after studies revealed that the popular pain medication was responsible for substantially increasing the rate of heart attacks among patients.
Mr. Lanier represented Mrs. Ernst in the nation’s first Vioxx trial in August 2005. After hearing more than a month of testimony from both sides, a jury of 12 residents from Angleton, Texas, issued a verdict of $253 million in favor of Mrs. Ernst. The verdict was later reduced to $26.1 million by the trial court. In today’s ruling, the 14th Court of Appeals reversed the jury’s determination and said Mr. Ernst’s widow deserves nothing.
With offices in Houston, Los Angeles, and New York, The Lanier Law Firm is committed to addressing client concerns with effective and innovative solutions in courtrooms across the country. The firm is composed of outstanding trial attorneys with decades of experience handling cases involving pharmaceutical liability, asbestos exposure, intellectual property, business litigation, product liability, maritime law, bad faith insurance claims and sports and entertainment law.