To the editor:
Ir is a common practice of U.S. judges to warn jurors that they should refrain from reading newspapers or viewing other information providers. This is a degrading and obnoxious practice that treats jurors as stooges, being so incompetent that they will make their verdict based upon news media influence or the opinions of cognizant residents.
Beginning this week in Madison County, a court with a proven record as a plaintiff-friendly "judicial hellhole," the pharmaceutical giant Merck will go on trial for selling the once-celebrated painkiller Vioxx.
Residents will readily recognize the local law firm of Brown & Crouppen as one of the plaintiff's representatives. Brown & Crouppen is constantly on TV provoking lawsuits.
Barratry, which was once a criminal offense, has become accepted legal practice of U.S. jurisprudence.
Not only Vioxx, all drugs are poisonous and any medicinal drug can cause the death of a human when taken in excess or having a subjectable body chemistry.
It is scientifically impossible to determine the cause of death allegedly due to a medicinal drug, when the dose and possible benefits outweigh the risks taken by the patient. One of the most deadly, silent killers is aspirin. It is a slow, long-acting poison that is never diagnosed unless a definite overdose is detected.
Should Vioxx be unregulated and sold over the counter?
Pharmaceutical companies are constantly in a search to develop drugs to alleviate the sufferings of residents. They take risks but consumers must realize that they take the burden of a greater risk.
Can it be scientifically shown to the jury that Patricia Schwaller died as a result of taking Vioxx and Merck was negligent in informing her of the risks?
Jurors should realize that an adverse verdict against Merck is an adverse verdict against themselves and their neighbors.
It will escalate the risk that pharmaceutical companies take, increase drug prices and limit the availability of present and future drugs.
If I were on the jury, Brown & Crouppen would not be smiling all the way to the bank, and a message to the nation would be sent that Madison County is no longer a reservoir of stooges to be manipulated by the lawyer industry.
Charles D. Sullivan