Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today confirmed terms of an agreement with plaintiffs to resolve
Plubell v. Merck
, an economic class action lawsuit pending in Missouri state court. The class consists of Missouri consumers who purchased Vioxx, but do not claim any physical injury, and who seek to recover damages under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act.
Under the agreement, Merck will pay to resolve all validated claims submitted by class members, approved attorneys' fees and expenses, and settlement notice costs and administrative expenses. The company recorded a charge for this settlement in the third quarter of 2012. The agreement is subject to court approval and certain conditions related to participation.
"This agreement is in the best interest of the company and its shareholders. It reduces the uncertainty of litigation and ongoing defense costs, and helps us to remain focused on bringing forward innovative products and services for our customers," said Bruce N. Kuhlik, executive vice president and general counsel of Merck.
Judge Marco Roldan is presiding over the case. Merck is represented by John Beisner of Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom LLP and Doug Marvin of Williams & Connolly LLP.
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