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Product liability suit settles before appellate court decision

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2014 | Products Liability

When a person or people suffer injuries due to dangerous products, they have a right to seek compensation for damages. New Jersey residents are likely familiar with product liability cases against drug companies. Recently, a woman sued Merck Sharp & Dohme Corporation over their drug Fosamax. The jury in that case delivered a verdict for the defendant. According to the verdict, the jury found that the company was not responsible for the fact that the woman developed osteonecrosis in her jaw.

According to reports, the woman filed an appeal in the case but settled with the company in Jan. 2014. The appellate court was scheduled to provide an opinion in the case on April 11, 2014. According to reports, the court didn’t receive notice about the settlement until April 9.

The case files, which would have been reviewed by a court making a decision, included 4,700 pages of transcripts and another 600 pages of appendices. The appellant’s attorney requested a dismissal of the appeal in writing on April 10 and asked the court not to release its opinion, as the January settlement made the issue a moot point.

The court can decide for itself whether a decision is published when a late hour of notification regarding settlement is involved. The court noted that the appellant stated in the appeal paperwork that a settlement was not likely, and it also pointed out that failing to provide notification about a settlement — especially given the large mass of the case file — was not good form.

Even so, the panel of judges opted to dismiss the appeal. This was good news for the plaintiff, as the appeal opinion could have affected the consummation of the January settlement agreement. Good timing, strong research and an understanding of both court and appeal procedures can be invaluable skills for plaintiffs in any personal injury case.

Source:, “N.J. appeals court reprimands lawyers in Merck Fosamax case” Michael Phillis, Apr. 23, 2014