An Insider’s View of the $47.5M Verdict Against Merck
A blog was put up by the son-in-law of the plaintiff, Frederick "Mike" Humeston, reflecting on the two Vioxx trials that they went through in Atlantic City against Merck. The first trial was won by Merck, but the verdict was tossed out by the judge. The second has now resulted in a whopper of a loss for Merck of $20M in compensatory damages and $27.5M in punitive damages.
The writer discusses the lawyers, the jurors and the judge. The jury comments, as always, are the most interesting.
About the first jury, he writes:
My wife went to Atlantic City that first time and told me that the jury seemed completely uninterested in the proceedings....After that first trial, my father-in-law told me he realized his case was in trouble when one of the questions the Jury asked was whether they (the Court) served any drinks in the "side bar." The Judge had allowed the Jury to ask written questions of the witnesses and apparently were bored with the many "side bars" the lawyers and the Judge had undertaken to clarify points of law.
About the second jury, he writes:
Visiting, I could see the jury was involved, taking notes, asking intelligent questions. They were definitely engaged.