TRENTON, N.J. (AP) A Texas appeals court on Wednesday overturned a multimillion-dollar verdict against Merck & Co. in one of the few trials it lost over its withdrawn painkiller Vioxx.
A jury in Rio Grande City, Texas, in April 2006 awarded $32 million to the widow of 71-year-old Leonel Garza, a short-term Vioxx user who died of a heart attack in 2001. That award $7 million for compensatory damages and $25 million for punitive damages later was cut to about $7.75 million under Texas law limiting damages.
On Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the Texas 4th Court of Appeals overturned the verdict, ruling in favor of Merck. The opinion was signed by Justice Sandee Bryan Marion.
The judges wrote that Garza's family did not prove his brief use of Vioxx caused two blood clots that the family's attorneys argued triggered his heart attack.