There is an excellent article at NewsInferno detailing reasons that Merck is going to be forced to change its strategy of trying every Vioxx case. The concluding paragraphs of the article:
Clearly, the time has come for Merck to abandon its “strategy” at least with respect to a global settlement of the more viable personal injury and wrongful death cases involving long-term Vioxx users and those short-term users who were in relatively good health.
As one appellate attorney familiar with the litigation put it: “To keep avoiding any settlement discussions is no longer a viable option for Merck. We are not talking about aging a fine wine here. The delay could spell financial disaster for Merck no matter how big a company it is.”
It also appears that Judges Higbee (New Jersey) and Fallon (federal), who presides over the bulk of the individual personal injury and death cases involving Vioxx are interested in forcing Merck into seriously reconsidering its position and entering into some sort of global settlement to resolve all, or at least a significant number of the pending cases.
Neither judge seems interested nor inclined to sit through an endless stream of trials that will prove little else than that Merck is in an untenable position with little hope of any meaningful degree of vindication. It has become quite clear to those who are not too blind to see that Merck may still win some battles, but it has already lost the war.