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

See all articles by Frank McClellan

Frank McClellan

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

Date Written: June 9, 2011

Abstract

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

McClellan, Frank, The Vioxx Litigation: A Critical Look at Trial Tactics, the Tort System, and the Roles of Lawyers in Mass Tort Litigation (June 9, 2011). DePaul Law Review, Vol. 57, pp. 509-538, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1861337

Frank McClellan (Contact Author)

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

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