Merck Seeks Fosamax Femur Fracture MDL
Although most of the attention has been focused on the “ONJ” cases (those involving osteonecrosis of the jaw), the femur fracture cases are starting to get the attention of Merck. On March 23, 2011, Merck filed a motion to consolidate and centralize all federal cases filed by plaintiffs alleging that their long-term Fosamax use caused them to sustain atypical femur fractures. If the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation grants Merck’s request for a femur fracture MDL, all of the pending federal cases will be transferred, coordinated and consolidated before a single judge for pre-trial purposes. Merck is currently involved in another Fosamax MDL, however plaintiffs in those cases allege that Fosamax caused them to sustain ONJ. That Fosamax MDL, which was formed in 2006, is in an advanced stage and several bellwether trials have already gone forward.
In addition to the federal Fosamax femur fracture cases, Merck is also involved in state court litigation. Interestingly, the New Jersey state court Fosamax femur fracture lawsuits have already been consolidated into a state mass tort program. We are carefully watching the progress of all these cases and will keep you posted.