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Judge Delays Fosamax MDL "Wind-Down"

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News Inferno; October 8, 2013

To enable plaintiffs and Merck &  Co. Inc. time to work on a potential settlement, a New York federal judge delayed the transfer of hundreds of lawsuits that are part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) brought over alleged jaw injuries tied to Fosamax.

In an amendment to his August remand order in which District Judge John Keenan ordered the lawsuits returned to their home courts beginning November 1st, the transfers will now begin on December 2nd, according to Law360. Subsequent transfers will be made on the first business day of each month until the remaining case are sent out of the MDL.

Lawsuit allegations include that Fosamax users developed osteonecrosis of the jaw—known as “Dead Jaw.” Almost 1,000 lawsuits remain pending; five bellwether trials and general expert discovery have taken place, according to Law360. While a plaintiffs’ steering committee was seeking a transfer delay, saying it would be in their best interests if the transfers began after November, Merck sought to keep to the planned MDL “wind-down,” stating that its review of the pending claims showed the drug maker that most were baseless.

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