On Tuesday, June 8, 2010, counsel made their opening arguments in the retrial of the Fosamax bellwether case that ended in a mistrial last fall. The plaintiff, Shirley Boles, 72, alleges that Merck’s osteoporosis drug, Fosamax, is defective and caused her osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ).  Merck denies the allegations and claims there is insufficient evidence to establish a connection between ONJ and Fosamax.  The original trial ended in a mistrial when jurors could not reach a decision on whether Fosamax caused the plaintiff’s ONJ.  Lawyers from around the country are watching this bellwether case carefully.

Fosamax and ONJ

Fosamax, which was approved by the FDA in October 1995, is a drug intended to treat osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions.  Fosamax has been linked to a number of serious side effects, including ONJ.  ONJ is a an extremely painful and disfiguring disease of the jaw bone that causes the jaw bone to decay and die, making it difficult to eat or even speak. The entire jaw bone may die, requiring jaw replacement surgery.  Plaintiffs allege such is the case with Ms. Boles and showed the jury graphic photographs of her “dead jaw.”

Other Fosamax Bellwether Lawsuits

Ms. Boles’ original trial was the first Fosamax bellwether trial.  Bellwether trials are test cases and are often used by courts to handle cases in which a large number of plaintiffs are suing the same defendants on the same theory. By trying a few test cases, the hope is that the parties will be able to discern how juries will respond to evidence that will likely be presented in each of the trials.  A second  Fosamax bellwether case was tried in May 2010, and a third is currently scheduled to be tried in November 2010.

Fosamax Lawyers

Currently, there are over 1,000 lawsuits against Merck over Fosamax side effects. The lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are investigating the relationship between both ONJ and femur fractures to Fosamax use.

If after using Fosamax, you or a loved one have experienced Fosamax side effects, including femur fractures or ONJ, you may be entitled to file a Fosamax lawsuit seeking financial compensation for medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other injuries. For more information contact an attorney at Bernstein Liebhard LLP at (877) 779-1414 or at, or visit our website for injured consumers,

Since 1993, Bernstein Liebhard has pursued hundreds of cases on behalf of injured consumers and shareholders, recovering almost $3 billion for our clients. For seven consecutive years, The National Law Journal has named the Firm as one of the top plaintiff’s litigation firms in the country.

Bernstein Liebhard LLP
10 East 40th Street
New York, New York 10016

ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. © 2010 Bernstein Liebhard LLP. The law firm responsible for this advertisement is Bernstein Liebhard LLP, 10 East 40th Street, New York, New York 10016, (212) 779-1414. Prior results do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future matter.

Contact Information

Felecia L. Stern, Esq.
Seth Ottensoser, Esq.
(877) 779-1414

Published June 9, 2010 by