Claiming their strokes were the result of taking the arthritis pain reliever Vioxx, two Illinois residents filed suit against Merck & Co. and the pharmacies where they purchased the medicine, according to a suit filed in Madison County Circuit Court June 16.
Gary Auslander and Myrtle Bohannon claim that at the time Vioxx was manufactured and sold to them, it was defective in design and unreasonably dangerous, and it subjected them to risks of heart attack, strokes, and other illnesses.
They are represented by Jeffrey Lowe of St. Louis, who has filed more cases on behalf of Vioxx users in Madison County than any other attorney.
Merck failed to effectively warn users and doctors that numerous other methods of pain relievers, including Ibuprofen, Naproxen and Mobic were safer, the plaintiffs' claim. They also alleges that Merck's conduct was done with conscious disregard for safety.
Vioxx was introduced in the United States in 1999. Vioxx is a Cyclo-Oxygenase-2 (cox2) inhibitor and was used to treat arthritis and is in the class of drugs called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory). Other NSAID drugs include Ibuprofen, Celebrex and Aleve.
The suits seek a judgment in the plaintiffs' favor for a fair and just amount of actual damages in an amount to be proved at trial, costs of the suit, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest.
The cases have been assigned to Circuit Judges Philip Kardis and George Moran.