Australian Ruling Opens Door For 100s Of Vioxx Claims

Law360, New York (March 5, 2010, 3:37 PM EST) -- An Australian judge ruled Friday that consumption of the painkiller Vioxx roughly doubled the risk of heart attack, paving the way for hundreds of Aussies to seek damages against a unit of Merck & Co. Inc.

As part of the ruling in Melbourne's Federal Court, occupational health and safety consultant Graeme Peterson, 59, was awarded AU$288,000 ($259,000) plus interest for alleged breaches of the Trade Practices Act.

Justice Christopher Jessup said in his decision that he was satisfied Vioxx contributed to Peterson's heart attack in 2003,...
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