The virtual drug lord, Merck, has apparently decided that $4.85 Billion is less than the cost of dealing with the 27,000 lawsuits over Vioxx.
And I thought they said the complaints were unfounded.
Reports from The Herald Tribune and others report that Merck is currently spending over $600 Million a year in legal defence over Vioxx.
The settlement isn’t entirely a "Get Out of Jail Free" card. In order for the settlement to be accepted, at least 85% of the plaintiffs must agree to drop their cases. If that doesn’t happen, Merck will be forced to continue to slog through this mess until they come up with something that is accepted.
After legal fees for each plaintiff, each person will end up with an average of about $50,000. While this may not seem like a lot, it’s probably more than the majority would receive if they tried to continue their cases further. While a small handful of people might have a shot at a big payout, the majority would end up with less (i.e., nothing).