A federal court jury voted unanimously today that Merck's Fosamax osteoporosis drug did not cause the dental and jaw injuries suffered by Louise Maley of Muncie, Indiana (here is herlawsuit). This was the second bellwether case over whether Merck failed to warn docs and patients that Fosamax may cause osteonecrosis, which is the painful death of jawbone tissue.
“Unfortunately, the plaintiff had multiple medical conditions that cause people to develop the jaw and dental problems she claims she has, regardless of whether they were taking Fosamax," says Merck lawyer Christy Jones of Butler, Snow, O'Mara, Stevens & Cannada, in a statement. The drugmaker denies acting improperly.
Merck, which faces 978 such lawsuits in state and federal courts, won a dismissal of a previous case after a plaintiff couldn’t prove Fosamax caused her injury. That trial was set to begin in January (background). Last September, US District Judge John Keenan declared a mistrial in the first case to go to trial after a jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict. That case is scheduled to go back to court on June 2.