Merck, known outside the United States and Canada as MSD, today said a
state court jury in New Jersey found in its favor in the Sessner v.
Merck case, rejecting the claims of a woman who blamed her
jaw-related problems on her FOSAMAX use.
“We believe the evidence showed the company acted properly, and that
FOSAMAX did not cause the plaintiff’s dental and jaw problems,” said
Christy Jones of Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens & Cannada PLLC, outside
counsel for Merck. “Unfortunately, the plaintiff had medical conditions
that can result in the development of jaw and dental problems in people,
regardless of whether they were taking FOSAMAX. She had evidence of
significant infections that required invasive dental procedures and had
conditions that inhibit the body’s ability to heal.”
With today's verdict, Merck won the second state court case to go to
trial in the coordinated New Jersey FOSAMAX litigation. The plaintiff in
this case alleged she used FOSAMAX from 2002 to 2008 and that she
suffered various jaw problems and complications following the extraction
of four teeth in October 2007.
At trial, Merck presented evidence that it acted responsibly in
researching and developing FOSAMAX and in monitoring the medicine since
it has been on the market. The company’s clinical trials, conducted both
before and following approval, have involved more than 28,000 patients,
including more than 17,000 treated with FOSAMAX.
“We agree with the jury’s verdict. The company provided appropriate and
timely information about FOSAMAX to consumers and the medical,
scientific and regulatory communities,” said Bruce N. Kuhlik, executive
vice president and general counsel of Merck. "FOSAMAX is a safe and
effective medicine when used in accordance with the label.”
Judge Carol E. Higbee of the Superior Court for Atlantic County, N.J.,
presided over the trial. Merck is represented by Christy Jones of
Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens & Cannada PLLC in Ridgeland, Miss.; Eileen
Muskett of Fox Rothschild LLP in Atlantic City, N.J.; and Paul Strain of
Venable LLP in Baltimore, Md.
Status of FOSAMAX (alendronate sodium) Litigation
This is the sixth FOSAMAX case to go to trial. Merck has now won five of
the six trials. Four trials were conducted as part of the federal
multidistrict litigation proceedings before Judge John F. Keenan in the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York: Maley v.
Merck resulted in a defense verdict for Merck in May 2010; Boles