Shirley Boles was awarded $8 million by a jury in New York on Friday, June 25, 2010, as compensation for her Fosamax jaw injuries. The case, Boles v. Merck, is one of many cases on Fosamax jaw injuries that have been consolidated in New York as a multidistrict litigation (MDL). The verdict is significant because it is the first Fosamax jaw injury victory against the manufacturer, Merck & Co. Ms. Boles, who used Fosamax for several years, suffered from osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), also called “dead jaw,” which was linked to her Fosamax use.

The jury determined that Fosamax had caused Ms. Boles serious jaw injuries and that Merck was liable for making an unreasonably dangerous and defectively designed product. The jury’s deliberations began Friday morning and they reached a decision on the Fosamax jaw injuries within a few hours. The jury awarded Ms. Boles $8 million as compensation for her Fosamax jaw injuries.

Fosamax and ONJ

Fosamax, an osteoporosis drug, was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) in 1995. In 2004, the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons published an article outlining the causal relationship between Fosamax use and the development of ONJ. ONJ is a painful and often disfiguring condition that causes the jaw bone to decay and die. The article prompted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to review the drug and subsequently add warnings to the drug’s labeling on Fosamax jaw injuries. To date, there have been hundreds of lawsuits filed regarding Fosamax jaw injuries, and more lawsuits are expected.

Fosamax and Femur Fractures

Long term use of Fosamax has also been linked to atypical femur fractures. The FDA is currently working closely with outside experts, including members of the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research Subtrochanteric Femoral Fracture Task Force, to study this issue.  Thus far, the FDA has recommended that healthcare professionals be aware of a “possible risk” of atypical femur fractures in patients taking oral bisphosphonates, such as Fosamax.  Other types of bisphosphonates include Actonel, Boniva and Reclast.    If you or a loved one has suffered from Fosamax jaw injuries or Fosamax femure fractures, please contact us for a free case evaluation. You may be entitled to file a Fosamax lawsuit.

Published November 17, 2011 by