Einstein famously said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Yet, that’s the legal tactic trial lawyers have employed against Merck, one of the state’s leading employers.
At issue is whether Fosamax, a drug designed to prevent osteoporosis, caused osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ).
Juries are unconvinced. Six bellweather cases have gone to trial, and Merck is currently on a five-case winning streak. Its only hiccup was the first Fosomax case, which ended in a mistrial. (A subsequent trial awarded the plaintiff $8 million in damages, which was later reduced to $1.5. The plaintiff’s attorneys have asked for a new trial on damages, which is scheduled for September).
Despite being 1-for-6, there are still 2,345 state and federal Fosamax product liability cases pending against Merck. It’s insanity yielding to a let’s-keep-trying-until-we-get-it-right offensive. After all, no matter how insane it seems to continue to pursue such cases, there really isn’t a downside for plaintiffs’ attorneys – just Merck, its employees, and those who rely on it for life-saving drugs.