The Vioxx Litigation: A Critical Look at Trial Tactics, the Tort System, and the Roles of Lawyers in Mass Tort Litigation
30 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2011
Date Written: June 9, 2011
Merck’s strategy in the Vioxx cases exposes an alarming deficiency in the legal system’s ability to achieve the fundamental goals of tort law in prescription drug cases. Utilizing a “try every case” approach, Merck’s strategy revealed significant challenges in the achievement of deterrence, corrective justice, and social justice in the tort system where large numbers of consumers suffer harmful reactions to the same defective drug. This article contends the Vioxx litigation most likely reveals the present way of providing legal services to mass tort victims is not adequate to provide compensation to those individual victims who justly deserve corrective justice. Instead, policy makers should adopt new judicial tools and remedies to discourage parties and lawyers from minimizing the importance of individual justice.
Keywords: Vioxx litigation, tort reform, product liability, drug liability
JEL Classification: K13, K30, K32, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation