Kentucky Court Of Appeals Reverses Certification of a Class of Plaintiffs Seeking Reimbursement for Vioxx® Costs


February 10, 2012 8:08 am ET

Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today said a
Kentucky appellate court reversed a trial court’s order certifying a
class of consumers who sought reimbursement for out-of-pocket Vioxx

A unanimous three-judge panel of the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled
that proceeding with a class-wide trial of plaintiff’s claims would be
inappropriate because “causation, reliance, and damages are required to
be shown on an individual basis,” and that “if the action were tried as
a class…the case would essentially fragment into a series of amalgamated
‘mini-trials.'” The court also pointed out that “class certification is
typically not granted in prescription drug cases because of the
individualized inquiries such litigation typically involves.”

Since the beginning of this case, Merck maintained that proceeding with
plaintiff’s claims on a class-wide basis would not have resulted in a
fair trial because each class member’s circumstances varied. The company
is satisfied with the court’s decision that this was not an appropriate
case to proceed as a class action.

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