St. Louis attorney files Vioxx suits for Illinois women

Ann Knef Oct. 19, 2005, 10:55am

John Driscoll

St. Louis plaintiff's attorney John Driscoll filed two more Vioxx lawsuits against Merck & Co. and Walgreens on behalf of two Illinois women who claim the arthritis pain-reliever caused their health problems.

In one of two complaints filed in St. Clair County Oct. 13, Dolores Coulter claims she suffered a stroke at the age of 33 because of her use of Vioxx.

"The product was defective in design and formulation, making use of the product more dangerous than other drugs for pain relief," states the complaint, which mirrors the language of close to 100 Vioxx complaints filed in St. Clair and Madison counties since the drug was pulled from the market a year ago.

More than 4,000 lawsuits have been filed across the country since Merck stopped selling Vioxx because of safety concerns.

"Plaintiff was unaware of the dangerous propensities of the product until well after her use and subsequent stroke requiring hospitalization," the suit states.

Another plaintiff, Barbara Beyer, claims she suffered a heart attack at age 57 because she used Vioxx.

The suits allege consumer fraud, defective and negligent design, and that Merck failed to warn consumers of possible side effects.

"Merck owed plaintiff a duty to warn of any dangerous defects or side effects," the complaint states, "a duty to assure its product did not cause users unreasonable and dangerous risks, reactions, side effects, and a duty to provide adequate post market surveillance and warnings as it learned of Vioxx's substantial dangers."

Walgreens is named in the suits for selling an allegedly defective product and breaching implied warranty.

"In selling Vioxx to plaintiff(s), Walgreen expressly and impliedly warranted that Vioxx was safe for its intended use, was free from manufacturing or production defects, and would perform as indicated," the complaint states.

05 L 590 (20th Circuit)
05 L 591 (20th Circuit)

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