TRENTON, N.J. — Merck & Co. says a Texas appeals court has overturned a verdict against the drugmaker in a case involving its withdrawn painkiller Vioxx.

A Texas jury two years ago awarded the widow of 71-year-old Leonel (LAY'-oh-nel) Garza $32 million. That later was cut to about $7.75 million under Texas damage caps.

Garza had had a long history of heart disease and died of a heart attack after taking Vioxx briefly.

Merck said Wednesday the appeals court found insufficient evidence supporting the jury's verdict.

The New Jersey-based drugmaker pulled Vioxx from the market in September 2004 after research showed the painkiller doubled risk of heart attacks and strokes.