The Vioxx Litigation and the Judicial System:

Ted Frank at Point of Law reviews evidence that the judicial system is not exactly working well in the Vioxx litigation, at least in certain jurisdictions. Joinder of in-state plaintiffs (who are later dropped from the case)to avoid diversity jurisdiction, trial court judges ignoring Daubert trilogy standards for the admissibility of expert testimony, juries ignoring overwhelming evidence against plaintiffs to favor hometown plaintiffs against "evil" (and wealthy) out-of-state corporate defendants--unfortunately, this has a very familiar ring to it. It's hard to see how the Texas Supreme Court will let the evidentiary rulings stand, as Texas has recently taken among the hardest lines against "junk science." The big danger for Merck, I think, is the temptation to enter a global settlement before it's able to win the inevitable appellate rulings that plaintiffs who took Vioxx for short periods of time simply have no sound evidence of causation.