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Recent verdict marks second win for plaintiffs in Fosamax cases

Osteoporosis is a disease that impacts an individual’s bones and bone density. Individuals diagnosed with osteoporosis are at an increased risk for suffering bone fractures and other health problems that may result from necessary surgeries to repair such fractures. In an effort to slow or prevent additional bone density loss associated with osteoporosis, many individuals take prescription medications.

The prescription drug Fosamax is one such drug commonly prescribed to combat the ill-effects associated with osteoporosis. For years, patients have reported possible dangerous side effects associated with use of Fosamax and there are currently more than 4,000 lawsuits pending against the drug’s maker Merck & Co. Inc.

The lawsuits contend the drug maker failed to adequately warn patients of potential dangerous side effects and risks associated with taking Fosamax. As a result, thousands of patients have suffered permanent injury and harm including jaw-related bone disease and injury.

In an attempt to aid in the stipulation and swiftness of settlement negotiations, judges overseeing the Fosamax cases have ordered that some initial cases be considered as “bellwether” cases. The outcomes of such cases help judges and attorneys when deciding or settling similar future cases.

In the most-recent case, a judge ruled in favor of the plaintiff and ordered Merck to pay a settlement in the amount of $285,000. The 69-year-old plaintiff filed a lawsuit against Merck after suffering bone disease of the jaw as well as delayed healing as a result of taking Fosamax. In this case, a jury agreed that Merck was negligent in contributing to the woman’s injuries.

The case marks the second win for plaintiffs out of seven cases that have gone to trial. Individuals who have been harmed as a result of a defective or dangerous drug may want to seek legal advice. Drug makers are responsible for informing patients of a drug’s potential side effects and failure to do so proves negligence.

Source: Reuters, “Merck hit with $285,000 verdict in Fosamax trial,” Nate Raymond, Feb. 5, 2013

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