Interesting development in the ongoing Vioxx litigation against Merck.
The plaintiff in the New Jersey case was a union whose health-care plan spent $200,000 on Vioxx prescriptions for its members and now seeks reimbursement from Merck following the withdrawal of the medicine three years ago. Two lower courts had ruled the union could join forces in a class action with other health-care plans and insurers seeking as much as $15 billion in reimbursement from Merck.
However, in a 5-0 ruling, New Jersey’s highest court found the plaintiffs are not entitled to a class action under New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act. The ruling bolstered Merck’s view that each Vioxx lawsuit contains a different set of facts and must be considered separately.