Thursday, October 19, 2006

Does it Matter How They Spend Their Money?

In a story covered by, a New Jersey judge has ordered Merck & Co. to release records documenting how much it spent on a trial involving its Vioxx painkiller. Outside counsel for Merck disagreed with the judge's decision and stated that what defense lawyers spend has no relation to plaintiffs lawyers' expenses. But since the order was made as part of the discovery process, Merck couldn't appeal.

Merck has reserved $970 million for legal costs and spent $285 million of that last year. So, how much was spent on litigating whether Vioxx caused the victims heart attacks or the consumer fraud issue?

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