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Madison County jury sides with Merck in Vioxx trial


Edwardsville, Ill – A jury in Madison County has cleared the company that makes the painkiller Vioxx of responsibility for the 2003 heart attack that killed a 52-year-old Granite City woman.

The jury sided with Merck and Company, which had argued that Patty Schwaller's obesity and other health issues were more likely to blame for her sudden death.

Schwaller had taken Vioxx for about 20 months, and her family had claimed it contributed to her death.

The jurors today ruled that Merck adequately warned consumers that Vioxx increased the risk of cardiovascular problems.

Schwaller's husband showed no emotion when the verdict was read, while an attorney for Merck mouthed "Thank you" to the panel.

The victory was Merck's tenth in 15 cases that have been tried over the drug Merck pulled off the market in 2004.