Man claims heart attack from taking Vioxx

Steve Gonzalez Mar. 6, 2006, 6:34am

Leroy Morgan, a former user of the arthritis medicine Vioxx, claims he suffered a heart attack at age 57 after using the arthritis pain reliever Vioxx.

He filed suit against Merck & Co. in St. Clair County Circuit Court Feb. 28 seeking damages in excess of $200,000.

Morgan claims that Vioxx is defectively designed, inadequately tested, dangerous to human health and lacked proper warnings regarding the dangers associated with its use.

When Vioxx was manufactured and sold to Morgan it was defective in design and formulation, making use of the product more dangerous than other drugs for pain relief, the complaint states.

Morgan, who is represented by John Driscoll of Brown & Crouppen in St. Louis, claims Vioxx subjected users to risks of heart attacks, strokes and other illnesses.

He claims he was unaware of the "dangerous propensities" of the product until well after he used the drug and sustained a heart attack, which required hospitalization.

Vioxx, which was removed from the drug market on Sept. 30, 2004, because a study indicated it could cause cardiac problems, is the brand name of rofecoxib, a cox-2 inhibitor and a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID). Other similar prescription NSAIDs include Bextra and Celebrex.
On April 7, 2005 Pfizer suspended sales of Bextra -- also a target of lawsuits filed in the Metro-East.

Morgan claims that Merck did not accurately reflect the symptoms, type, scope, or severity of the side effects and claims Merck failed to perform adequate testing prior to marketing Vioxx.

Morgan also claims Merck violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act which deceived him and caused him to suffer personal physical injury and actual damages.

He claims in addition to the heart attack, he spent money for the purchase of a medicine that was allegedly unreasonably dangerous.

06 L 125 (20th Circuit)

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