Judge slams $4600 Vioxx payout

1 Mar 2015

The Federal Court of Australia has approved the final payout to people who had a heart attack while taking Vioxx. But the judge isn’t happy.

The 1660 people involved in the class action against Merck will get $4,629.36 each, court papers showed.

The striking feature of the settlement is the size of the overall settlement sum itself, said Federal Court Judge Christopher Jessop.

“It is, in my view, inconceivable that, independently advised, a person in such a situation would regard that sum as adequate compensation for the loss and damage associated with a heart attack to the occurrence of which Vioxx made a material contribution,” he said.

How this outcome can be reconciled with the need to do justice to those whose claims…is a subject which has troubled me greatly in my consideration of the applications which are now before the court,” he said.

Judge Jessop said he approved the settlements because “very few” objections had been received.


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