Fosamax Settlement Reached to Resolve Nearly 1,100 Jaw Decay Lawsuits
Fosamax is a medication created by Merck in 1995, for the treatment of osteoporosis. In 2008 it became available as a generic medication that generated over $3 billion in annual sales and used Country wide.
Merck, the creators of Fosamax, have agreed to pay $27.7 million to settle nearly 1,100 Fosamax jaw lawsuits. Merck has agreed to settle in order avoid hundreds of individual trials across the country and resolve the ongoing eight year old litigation.
In order for the settlement to be finalized, claimants who meet eligibility requirements must accept the offer according to the Fosamax settlement agreement announced on Monday. Plaintiffs must accept or opt out of the agreement by March 31st. At that time, Merck will then have until May 15th to decide whether to move forward with the settlement.
Fosamax has caused hundreds of cases of jaw injuries such as osteonecrosis of the jaw, which is a painful condition that causes decay of the jaw bone. The Merck agreement only applies to those plaintiffs who have experienced osteonecrosis of the jaw. Fosamax femur fracture lawsuits are not affected by the settlement.
Cases filed throughout the federal court system have been centralized before District Judge John Keenan in the Southern District of New York as part of Multi-District Litigation. In 2005, cases were consolidated for pretrial proceedings to reduce duplicate cases, conflicting pretrial rulings and to serve as convenience to all parties.
Fosamax jaw injury bellwether trials were held with mixed results. Earlier in the year, Judge John Keenan proposed that Fosamax jaw MDL came to a conclusion and plans to remand each of the complaints back to the U.S District Court for individual trial dates to be scheduled throughout the country.
Notwithstanding claims relating to this product, the drug/medical device remains approved by the U.S. FDA.