Before 2004, most state laws required victims in such cases to file their lawsuit within two years after suffering their injury. But for some users of Vioxx the statute of limitations ran out before the drugs were found to cause heart disease. Now, a new bill is being introduced to the Senate which would change the deadline for filing lawsuits to two years after the cause of an injury is discovered. For Vioxx users, that would be Sept. 30, 2004, the date that it was removed from the market.
For strict product liability to occur, first and foremost, the product has to actually be sold to someone, i.e., when you pay for a Vioxx perscription. This sale should be within the normal activities of the seller and not a garage sale type of sale. Once a sale has been made and if that product injures someone; then any party in the entire chain, from manufacturer to retailer, can be held responsible and liable for such a product.
In a legal situation, information is your friend. Since the recent withdrawal of Vioxx, patients have been advised to stay vigilant and report signs of any illness to their doctor as soon as possible. This will confirm that the patient is no longer in danger, and provide additional ammunition for patients that wish to pursue an individual or a Vioxx class action lawsuit. It is also critical that affected patients seek legal assistance as early on as possible, because this can provide the legal team with an opportunity to put together as strong a case as possible.
With current revelations coming out of congressional hearings that Merck may have already known about the dangers of Vioxx, some legal firms have already launched both individual and Vioxx class action lawsuits on behalf of affected clients. As more and more information comes to light, it is virtually certain that the number of Vioxx class action lawsuits and single lawsuits will rise dramatically. This could result in many successful six-figure payouts, which is likely to devastate for the pharmaceutical giant, Merck.
Although many people will be filing claims against Merck, it is worth remembering that this company is a very large manufacturer, and therefore will have the benefit of a highly skilled and experienced legal team to deal with claimants. This legal team will do everything it can to stop as many claims as possible. However, a Vioxx lawyer working on your behalf means that their experience and these skills can be matched by the plaintiffs' (i.e., you), thus increasing your chances of collecting damages.
Although Vioxx has only been off the market for a short time, the writing is, as they say, on the wall. Vioxx lawyers are expecting a vast increase in cases in the near future as more and more people realize that they have grounds for claims against the Merck. If you feel you have been subjected to injury due to the side effects of Vioxx, the earlier you are able to contact a Vioxx lawyer the more time the lawyer will have to put together a watertight case.