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Court Overturns Merck Vioxx Verdict

A Texas appeals court reverses a $7.75 million verdict related to a 2006 case of a heart attack victim.

Merck

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confirmed Wednesday that it won an appeal in a liability case related to Vioxx.

A Texas appeals court overturned a verdict that had awarded $7.75 million to the widow of a 71-year-old heart attack victim. Leonel Garza had died after taking Vioxx for a month.

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The drug was pulled from the market in 2004 after research showed it increased the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The jury's original verdict on April 21, 2006, included $7 million in compensatory damages and $25 million in punitive damages for a total of $32 million against Merck, the company said in a statement. In December of that year, the punitive award was reduced to $750,000 in compliance with Texas statutory caps.

Merck's shares rose 1.7% to $39.83.