Unions sue Vioxx lawyers over faulty settlement

Service Employees International Union and the Teamsters Union have filed a lawsuit in Louisiana alleging six law-firms mishandled litigation against Vioxx maker Merck & Co. Inc., a matter which settled in November, 2007. Vioxx, a once-popular pain medication, was taken off the market in 2004 after being found to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The lawsuit claims that the settlement of the class action did not provide money for reimbursements to lien rights of Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) health plans. And that the $4.85 billion that Merck has agreed to place in a settlement account, to pay claimants who say they were harmed by Vioxx, will be distributed by a secret formula that violates the ERISA provisions.

Defendants named in the complaint are: Brown Greer PLC; Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles PC; Blizzard, McCarthy & Nabers LLP; Girardi and Keese; Herman, Herman, Katz & Cotlar LLP; and Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman.

Unions sue lawyers over Vioxx settlement in the News

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