Well, no surprise here, but appellate courts in Texas and New Jersey overturned two jury verdicts against drug giant Merck in cases over its drug Vioxx.
Regarding the Texas court, Plaintiff’s lawyer Mark Lanier said, “It’s a sad day that they can write a 10-page opinion and wipe out a widow’s verdict with a new judicial activism that reinterprets the evidence to support corporate executives.” He also pointed out that all three judges on the appellate panel who tossed out his verdict took campaign contributions from law firms defending Merck.
Say what you will about the civil justice system, but it’s scary how far the appeals courts will go these days to overturn jury verdicts. Conservatives always rally against “judicial activism,” yet the GOP-controlled appeals courts in Texas have become the worst practitioners of this.
Mark Lanier is an incredible trial lawyer. Something tells me he’s not through with Merck just yet.