INTRODUCTION

LINKS










DISCLAIMER
 

    

Hon. Eldon E. Fallon
United States District Court
Eastern District of
Louisiana

500 Poydras Street Room C-456
New Orleans, LA  70130
(504) 589-7545
Fax: (504) 589-6966


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Current Developments

Last Updated: 03/25/2014

March 21, 2014

A monthly status conference was held on March 21, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon. The Court first met with members of the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee ("PSC") and the Defendants' Steering Committee ("DSC"). At the conference, counsel reported to the Court on the topics set forth in Joint Report No. 81 of Plaintiffs' Liaison Counsel and Defendants' Liaison Counsel. This monthly status conference was transcribed by Toni Tusa, official Court reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Tusa at (504) 523-7778 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Friday, June 6, 2014, at 9:00 a.m., in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468, United States Courthouse, New Orleans, Louisiana. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may audit via telephone by dialing (877) 336-1839. The participant access code is 4227405, and the security code is 060614.


January 15, 2014

A bimonthly status conference was held on January 15, 2014 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon. The Court first met with members of the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee ("PSC") and the Defendants' Steering Committee ("DSC"). At the conference, counsel reported to the Court on the topics set forth in Joint Report No. 80 of Plaintiffs' Liaison Counsel and Defendants' Liaison Counsel. This monthly status conference was transcribed by Susan Zielie, official Court reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Zielie at (504) 523-7781 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Friday, March 21, 2014, at 9:00 a.m., in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468, United States Courthouse, New Orleans, Louisiana. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may audit via telephone by dialing (877) 336-1839. The participant access code is 4227405, and the security code is 032114.

January 3, 2014

The Court has allocated a capped common benefit fee fund among counsel who performed common benefit work which produced a successful result in the third party payor ("TPP") claims asserted in the Vioxx litigation, after having considered the recommendations of the Fee Allocation Committee, the report of Special Master Patrick Juneau, and materials submitted by the parties. This allocation was made pursuant to the Common Benefit Settlement Agreement and the Private TPP Settlement Agreement and Release.

January 2, 2014

The Court granted the motion for final approval of the Vioxx consumer Class Settlement by Class Representative Sherrill Herke, individually and on behalf of a proposed Class of those similarly situated, (Rec. Docs. 64719, 64728, 64735), and supported by Defendant Merck, Sharp & Dohme, Corp., formerly known as Merck & Co., Inc., ("Merck").


November 14, 2013

The Court has received the Plaintiffs' Liaison Counsel's Motion for Partial Award of Common Benefit Reimbursement of Expenses , filed into the record on November 14, 2013, and now publishes it on this website for all to review. Any objections or comments must be filed with the Court on or before December 13, 2013.


November 8, 2013

The Court has received the Special Master's Report and Recommendations Regarding Third Party Payor Common Benefit Awards , filed with the Court on November 8, 2013, and now publishes it on this website for all to review. In accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 53(f), any objections or comments must be filed with the Court no later than 21 days from service of the Report and Recommendations.

October 25, 2013, at 9:00 a.m.

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon. At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 79,  including Class Actions, Government Actions, Third Party Payor, Pending Personal Injury Cases Subject to PTOs 28, 29, and 43, Other Pending Motions/Matters, Appeals, and the Next Status Conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Courtís Minute Entry dated October 25, 2013. This monthly status conference was transcribed by David Zarek, official Court reporter. Counsel may contact Mr. Zarek at (504) 523-6062 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Wednesday, January 15, 2014, at 9:00 a.m., Central Standard Time. This conference will be held in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen in via telephone by dialing (877) 336-1839. The participant access code is 4227405, and the security code is 011513.


September 20, 2013

The monthly status conference set for Wednesday, October 9, 2013, at 9:00 a.m., has been continued until Friday, October 25, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen in via telephone by dialing (877) 336-1839. The participant access code is 4227405, and the security code is 102513.


August 14, 2013

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 78, including Class Actions, Government Actions, Third Party Payor, Pending Personal Injury Cases Subject to PTOs 28, 29, and 43, Other Pending Motions/Matters, Appeals, and the Next Status Conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Courtís Minute Entry dated August 14, 2013. This monthly status conference was transcribed by David Zarek, official Court reporter. Counsel may contact Mr. Zarek at (504) 523-6062 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Wednesday, October 9, 2013, at 9:00 a.m., in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen in via telephone by dialing (877) 336-1839. The participant access code is 4227405, and the security code is 100913.

July 18, 2013

On this date, the Court issued an Order (Rec. Doc. 64491) scheduling a hearing for the pending Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Settlement (Rec. Doc. 64487). The hearing will be held on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, at 9:00 a.m., in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468.


June 25, 2013

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 77, including Class Actions, Government Actions, Third Party Payors, Pending Personal Injury Cases Subject to PTOs 28, 29 and 43, Other Pending Motions/Matters, Appeals, and the Next Status Conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Courtís Minute Entry dated June 25, 2013.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Arlene Movahed, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Movahed at (504) 589-7777 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference shall be held on Wednesday, August 14, 2013, at 9:00 a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen in via telephone by dialing (877) 336-1839. The participant access code is 4227405. The security code is 081413. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call.

May 20, 2013

On this date, the Court issued an Order preliminary approving a settlement in the matter Verie Poole v. Eicholz Law Firm, PC, et al. A copy of the settlement is available here.

As stated in the Order, the Court will hold a formal Fairness Hearing on the settlement on August 27, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.

April 23, 2013

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 76, including Class Actions, Government Actions, Third Party Payors, Pending Personal Injury Cases Subject to PTOs 28, 29 and 43, Other Pending Motions/Matters, Appeals, and the Next Status Conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Courtís Minute Entry dated April 23, 2013.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Arlene Movahed, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Movahed at (504) 589-7777 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference shall be held on Tuesday, June 25, 2013, at 9:00 a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen in via telephone by dialing (877) 336-1839. The participant access code is 4227405. The security code is 062513. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call.


February 26, 2013

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 75, including Class Actions, Government Actions, Third Party Payors, Pending Personal Injury Cases Subject to PTOs 28, 29 and 43, Other Pending Motions/Matters, Appeals, and the Next Status Conference.
These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated February 26, 2013.
The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Arlene Movahed, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Movahed at (504) 589-7777 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference shall be held on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, at 9:00 a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen in via telephone by dialing (800) 260-0702. The participant access code is 284394. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call.


December 11, 2012

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 74, including Class Actions, Government Actions, Third Party Payors, Pending Personal Injury Cases Subject to PTOs 28, 29 and 43, Other Pending Motions/Matters, Appeals, and the Next Status Conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated December 11, 2012.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Susan Ziele, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Pepper at (504) 589-7781 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference shall be held on Tuesday, February 26, 2012, at 2:00 p.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. This is different from the regular conference start time. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen in via telephone by dialing (800) 260-0702. The participant access code is 275980. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call.


October 15, 2012

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.
At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 73, including Class Actions, Government Actions, Third Party Payors, Pending Personal Injury Cases Subject to PTOs 28, 29 and 43, Other Pending Motions/Matters, Appeals, and the Next Status Conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated October 11, 2012.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Cathy Pepper, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Pepper at (504) 589-7779 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference shall be held on Tuesday, December 11, 2012, at 2:00 p.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. This is different from the regular conference start time. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen in via telephone by dialing (800) 260-0702. The participant access code is 268104. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call.


August 16, 2012

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 72, including Class Actions, Government Actions, Third Party Payors, Pending Personal Injury Cases Subject to PTOs 28, 29 and 43, Other Pending Motions/Matters, Appeals, and the Next Status Conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated August 16, 2012.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Jodi Simcox, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Simcox at (504) 589-7780 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference shall be held on Thursday, October 11, 2012, at 9:00 a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen in via telephone by dialing (866) 254-5938. The participant access code is 257794. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call.


July 25, 2012

On this date, the Court issued an Order publishing the recommendation of the Third Party Payor Fee Allocation Committee regarding the allocation the Private Third Party Payor Common Benefit Fund. The Court is accepting objections from now until August 10, 2012.


June 14, 2012

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.
At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 71, including Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Government Actions, Third Party Payors, Pending Personal Injury Cases Subject to PTOs 28, 29 and 43, Other Pending Motions/Matters, Appeals, and the Next Status Conference.
These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated June 14, 2012.
The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Susan Zielie, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Zielie at (504) 589-7781 to request a copy of the transcript.
The next monthly status conference shall be held on Thursday, August 16, 2012, at 9:00 a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen in via telephone by dialing (800) 260-0702. The participant access code is 251813. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call.


May 15, 2012

On this Date, the Court issued Pretrial Order 58, setting discovery schedules for the seventy personal injury actions remaining in the MDL.

April 27, 2012

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 70, including Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Government Actions and Consumer Class Claims, Third Party Payors, Pending Personal Injury Cases Subject to PTOs 28, 29 and 43, Other Pending Motions, Appeals, and the Next Status Conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated April 27, 2012.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Toni Tusa, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Tusa at (504) 589-7778 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference shall be held on Thursday, June 14, 2012, at 8:30

a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. This is half an hour earlier than the regular Conference start time. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen in via telephone by dialing 1-800-260-0718. The participant access code is 247438. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call.


March 1, 2012

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 69, including the Special Master, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Government Actions, Third Party Payors, Pending Personal Injury Cases Subject to PTOs 28, 29 and 43, Other Pending Motions, Appeals, and the Next Status Conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated March 1, 2012.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Susan Zielie, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Zielie at (504) 589-7781 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference shall be held on Friday, April 27, 2012, at 8:30 a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. This is half an hour earlier than the regular Conference start time. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen in via telephone by dialing 1-800-260-0712. The participant access code is 240337. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call.


January 5, 2012

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 68, including the Special Master, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Government Actions, Third Party Payors, Pending Personal Injury Cases Subject to PTOs 28, 29 and 43, Other Pending Motions, Appeals, and the Next Status Conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated January 5, 2012.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Toni Tusa, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Tusa at (504) 589-7778 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference shall be held on Thursday, March 1, 2012, at 9:00

a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen in via telephone by dialing 1-800-260-0702. The participant access code is 232234. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call.

November 4, 2011

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 67, including the Settlement Program, Special Master, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Government Actions, Third Party Payor, Pending Personal Injury Cases Subject to PTOs 28, 29 and 43, Fee Allocation Committee, Other Pending Motions, Appeals, Other Matters and the Next Status Conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated November 4, 2011.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Toni Tusa, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Tusa at (504) 589-7778 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference shall be held on Thursday, January 5, 2012, at 9:00

a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen in via telephone by dialing 1-800-260-0702. The participant access code is 224135. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call.


September 29, 2011

The Court has issued an Order & Reasons addressing the shortfall in the common benefit attorneys’ fee fund; a final Judgment awarding common benefit attorneys’ fees; and an Order directing disbursement of those fees by the Claims Administrator.

September 21, 2011

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 66, including the Settlement Program, Special Master, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Government Actions, Pending Personal Injury Cases Subject to PTOs 28, 29 and 43, Fee Allocation Committee, Pending Motions, Appeals, Other Matters and the Next Status Conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated September 21, 2011.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Cathy Pepper, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Pepper at (504) 589-7779 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference shall be held on Friday, November 4, 2011, at 9:00 a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen in via telephone by dialing 1-800-260-0702. Unlike previous telephone status conferences, there is no access code required. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call.


September 13, 2011

The Court has received a report from the Claims Administrator addressing the amount currently held as common benefit attorneys’ fees and now issues this Order entering the report into the record and setting forth future proceedings. There will be a hearing on the matter on Wednesday, September 21, 2011, following the Monthly Status Conference.


August 17, 2011

The Court issued Pretrial Order 8C amending the standard certificate of service to include Ann B. Oldfather, Liaison Counsel for certain pending personal injury cases, and Pretrial Order 57 setting forth procedures regarding the Private Third Party Payor Common Benefit Fund.


August 9, 2011

The Court issued an Order and Reasons allocating common benefit attorneys’ fees.

August 4, 2011

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 65, including the Settlement Program, Special Master’s Report, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Government Actions, Pending Personal Injury Cases Subject to PTOs 28, 29 and 43, Fee Allocation Committee, Pending Motions, Appeals, and the Next Status Conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated August 4, 2011.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Karen Ibos, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Ibos at (504) 589-7776 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference shall be held on Wednesday, September 21, 2011, at 9:00

a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen in via telephone by dialing 1-800-260-0712. The participant access code is 212710. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call.


July 19, 2011

The Court has received the Motion for Award of Attorneys’ Fees and Costs filed by the Liaison and Co-Lead Counsel for Objectors appointed by the Court in connection with the ongoing common benefit attorney fund allocation proceedings. The motion is noticed for submission on August 3, 2011. Pursuant to the Court’s Order of June 2, 2011, the Court posts the motion on this website. Any comments or objections should be filed with the Court on or before July 27, 2011.


June 29, 2011

The Court has received the Special Master’s Report and Recommendations on Allocation of Common Benefit Attorneys’ Fees, filed with the Court on June 27, 2011, and now publishes it on this website for all to review. In accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 53(f), any objections or comments must be filed with the Court no later than 21 days from service of the Report and Recommendations.


June 1, 2011

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 64, including the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator’s Report, Special Master’s Report, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Government Actions, Pending Personal Injury Cases Subject to PTOs 28, 29 and 43, Fee Allocation Committee, Pending Motions, Appeals, and the Next Status Conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated June 1, 2011.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Karen Ibos, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Ibos at (504) 589-7776 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference shall be held on Thursday, August 4, 2011, at 9:00

a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen in via telephone by dialing 1-800-260-0718. The participant access code is 206610. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call.

May 11, 2011

The Court issued an Order setting a procedure for access to information from the Claims Administrator for the Vioxx Settlement Program.

April 1, 2011

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 63, including the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator’s Report, Special Master and Deputy Special Master’s Report, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Government Actions, Pending Personal Injury Cases Subject to PTOs 28, 29 and 43, Fee Allocation Committee, Merck’s Motions, Appeals, and the Next Status Conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated April 1, 2011.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Toni Tusa, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Tusa at (504) 589-7778 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference shall be held on Wednesday, June 1, 2011, at 9:00 a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen in via telephone by dialing 1-800-260-0712. The participant access code is 198484. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call.

February 24, 2011

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 62, including the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator’s Report, Special Master and Deputy Special Master’s Report, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Government Actions, Pending Personal Injury Cases Subject to PTOs 28, 29 and 43, Fee Allocation Committee, Merck’s Motions and Rules, Appeals, and the Next Status Conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated January 6, 2010.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Jodi Simcox, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Simcox at (504) 589-7780 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference shall be held on Friday, April 1, 2011, at 9:00

a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen in via telephone by dialing 1-800-260-0712. The participant access code is 194221. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call.

February 16, 2011

The Court issued an Order appointing Lead and Liaison Counsel for common benefit fee applicants and objectors.

January 20, 2011

The Court has received the Fee Allocation Committee’s recommended allocation of common benefit attorney’s fees. Pursuant to the Court’s Order, the recommendation is published on this website for all to review. The Order also sets forth the procedures for objecting to the recommendation. Objections are due on or before February 4, 2011.

January 6, 2011

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 61, including the Settlement Agreement, Lien Administrator’s Report, Special Master and Deputy Special Master’s Report, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Government Actions, Pending Personal Injury Cases Subject to PTOs 28, 29 and 43, Fee Allocation Committee, Merck’s Motions, Other Motions, Appeals, and the Next Status Conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated January 6, 2010.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Karen Ibos, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Ibos at (504) 589-7776 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference shall be held on Thursday, February 24, 2011, at
9:00 a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen in via telephone by dialing 1-800-260-0702. The participant access code is 188040. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call.

December 10, 2010

As all applicants for common benefit fees know by now, the Fee Allocation Committee is in the process of preparing a recommended allocation of common benefit fees. In connection with that work, and as required by Pre-Trial Order 6D, the Committee notified all attorneys of its preliminary allocation as it pertains to that attorney. PTO 6D also provides that if an attorney objects to that preliminary allocation, "a written objection setting forth the basis of the objection shall be submitted to the Allocation Committee within 14 days for consideration by the full Allocation Committee." The Committee has sent letters implementing this procedure as set forth in PTO 6D.

The purpose and intent of this procedure is to elicit feedback from fee applicants to the Fee Allocation Committee’s suggested distribution and to ensure a prompt response so that the Committee can consider input and potentially revise its tentative allocation to reflect this input before submitting a final recommendation to the Court. The parties are invited to use this opportunity to apprise the Committee of their reaction to the amount of a proposed allocation, at no risk of waiving any future right to object upon submission and publication of the final recommendation, which the Court will post on its website. No attorney will be prohibited in any way from objecting to the Committee’s final recommendation on the basis of their response to notice of the preliminary allocation. As the December 9, 2010 entry below states, the Court has not set deadlines for objecting to the Committee’s final recommendation because the Committee has not submitted a final recommendation.

December 9, 2010

It has come to the Court’s attention that there are some misconceptions about the procedure the Court will use to allocate common benefit attorneys’ fees. To remove any such misconceptions, the Court will restate the procedure which it summarized in its Order and Reasons of October 19, 2010.

First, the Court appointed a Fee Allocation Committee and directed it to submit a recommended allocation of common benefit attorneys’ fees. In order to do so, it was expected that the Committee would interview fee applicants, obtain written and oral information regarding the applicants’ common benefit work, obtain the applicants’ input on an appropriate allocation, and review materials submitted to the Court-designated CPA. Then, the Fee Allocation Committee is expected to provide the Court with a recommendation on how common benefit fees should be allocated. The Court understands that the Committee is still in the process of doing this. The Committee has not presented the Court with a formal recommendation. The Court has not set any deadlines. No action by the Committee or any party at this stage will prevent a party from bringing a future objection or will have any effect on future proceedings. The Committee’s recommendation will be just that: a recommendation. It will be one of the factors that the Court uses when the Court makes a final allocation of fees.

Second, once the Court receives the formal recommendation of the Committee, the Court intends to publish that recommendation on this website so that everyone can see the complete recommended allocation of common benefit attorneys’ fees. At that point, any fee applicant may make an objection, comment, or suggestion. If any applicant needs additional discovery to do so, it will be allowed in an organized fashion. If additional depositions or evidence need to be offered, the parties will have an opportunity to do so. The Court intends to appoint a Special Master to preside over the presentation of any oral, documentary, or expert evidence. The Court would expect the Special Master to likewise make a recommended allocation of common benefit fees.

Third, once the Court has the Fee Allocation Committee’s recommendation, the Special Master’s recommendation, and all objections to those recommendations, the Court will take these materials into consideration and make the ultimate decision on an appropriate allocation of common benefit fees. The objective of this process is to follow traditional judicial standards of transparency, impartiality, procedural fairness, and ultimate judicial oversight, and to give all interested parties a reasonable opportunity to express their views.

December 7, 2010

The Fee Allocation Committee is in the process of preparing to make a recommendation to the Court regarding the distribution of common benefit attorneys’ fees. When the Court receives this proposed allocation, it will be published on this website for review. In connection with the Committee’s preparations, the Court has instructed Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel to make available documents and materials relevant to the common benefit work done in the MDL and the coordinated state litigation. These materials may be reviewed and copied at the expense of the party seeking the information and shall be kept confidential. Parties who have applied for common benefit fees may contact Russ Herman at (504) 581-4892 to arrange access to the documents and materials.

October 19, 2010

The Court issued an Order and Reasons awarding common benefit attorneys’ fees.


October 7, 2010

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 60, including the Settlement Agreement, Lien Administrator’s Report, Special Master and Deputy Special Master’s Report, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Government Actions, Pending Personal Injury Cases Subject to PTOs 28, 29 and 43, Fee Allocation Committee, Merck’s Motions and Rules on PTO 43, Other Motions, Appeals, and the Next Status Conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated October 7, 2010.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Jodi Simcox, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Simcox at (504) 589-7780 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference shall be held on Thursday January 6, 2011, at
9:00 a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen in via telephone by dialing 1-800-707-9573. The participant access code is 174412. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call.


August 27, 2010

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 59, including Settlement Agreement, the Vioxx Settlement Program, Lien Administrator’s Report, Special Master and Deputy Special Master’s Report, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, PSC MDL Trial Package, Government Actions, Pending Personal Injury Cases Subject to PTOs 28, 29 and 43, Fee Allocation Committee, Merck’s Motions and Rules on PTO 43, Other Motions, Appeals, Merck’s Motion to Dismiss for Failure to Prosecute, and the Next Status Conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated August 27, 2010.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Jodi Simcox, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Simcox at (504) 589-7780 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference shall be held on Thursday October 7, 2010, at 9:00 a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. For those persons unable to attend, the Court has established a conference call. The conference call procedure has changed. The new procedure is as follows:

Dial 800-707-9573;

Once you are connected, enter participant access code 169981. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call.

August 20, 2010

The next monthly status conference shall be held on Thursday August 26, 2010, at 9:00 a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. For those persons unable to attend, the Court has established a conference call. The conference call procedure has changed. The new procedure is as follows:

Dial 800-260-0712;

Once you are connected, enter participant access code 168887. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call.

July 27, 2010

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 58, including Settlement Agreement, the Vioxx Settlement Program, Lien Administrator’s Report, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters Report, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, PSC MDL Trial Package, Government Actions, Pending Personal Injury Cases in which Lone Pine Expert Reports Have Been Served, Fee Allocation Committee, Motion for Reconsideration of Order Capping Contingent Fees, Other Motions, Appeals, Motion for Attorney Fees and to Enforce Attorney’s Lien, Third Party Payor Settlement, Merck’s Motion to Dismiss for Failure to Prosecute, Motion to Transfer And/Or Set Discovery/Trial Dates and the Next Status Conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated July 27, 2010.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Toni Tusa, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Pepper at (504) 589-7778 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference shall be held on Thursday August 26, 2010, at 9:00

a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. For those persons unable to attend, the Court has established a conference call. The conference call procedure has changed. The new procedure is as follows:

1: Dial 877-336-1839;

2: Once you are connected, enter access code 4227405. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call;

3: Once the call is activated enter participant security code 82610 followed by the pound (#) key;

4: Finally, you will be given the option to accept or re-enter the participant security code before you are entered into the call.

In addition, the Court recently issued an Order & Reasons granting Merck’s Motion to dismiss a suit brought by James Franklin on behalf of the State of Colorado.

July 7, 2010

The next monthly status conference will be held on Tuesday July 27, 2010, at 9:00 a.m., CST. This conference will be held in the courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. For those persons unable to attend, the Court has established a conference call. The original conference call number information has changed. The instructions for the new conference call information follow:

1: Dial 877-336-1839;

2: Once you are connected, enter access code 4227405. You may be put on hold until the host (the Court) activates the call;

3: Once the call is activated enter participant security code 72710 followed by the pound (#) key;

4: Finally, you will be given the option to accept or re-enter the participant security code before you are entered into the call.

June 29, 2010

The Court issued Findings of Fact & Conclusions of Law in State of Louisiana ex rel. Caldwell v. Merck & Co., Inc. Additionally, the Court issued Pretrial Order # 39A, setting in place a scheduling order for all remaining governmental action cases, and Pretrial Order # 56, modifying the responsibilities of Plaintiff’s Liaison Counsel for IE/NE Claims.

June 3, 2010

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 57, including Settlement Agreement, the Vioxx Settlement Program, Lien Administrator’s Report, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters Report, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, PSC MDL Trial Package, Government Actions, Pending Personal Injury Cases in which Lone Pine Expert Reports Have Been Served, Fee Allocation Committee, Motion for Reconsideration of Order Capping Contingent Fees, Other Motions, Appeals, Motion for Attorney Fees and to Enforce Attorney’s Lien, Third Party Payor Settlement and the Next Status Conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated June 3, 2010.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Cathy Pepper, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Pepper at (504) 589-7779 to request a copy of the transcript.

April 30, 2010

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 56, including Settlement Agreement, the Vioxx Settlement Program, Lien Administrator’s Report, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters Report, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, PSC MDL Trial Package, Government Actions, Pending Personal Injury Cases in which Lone Pine Expert Reports Have Been Served, Fee Allocation Committee, Motion for Reconsideration of Order Capping Contingent Fees, Other Motions, Appeals, Motion for Attorney Fees and to Enforce Attorney’s Lien, and the Next Status Conference.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Cathy Pepper, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Ibos at (504) 589-7779 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Thursday June 3, 2010, at 9:00 a.m., CST. This conference will be held in the courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested parties unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 73085029 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated April 29, 2010.

March 23, 2010

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 55, including Settlement Agreement, the Vioxx Settlement Program, Lien Administrator’s Report, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters Report, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, PSC MDL Trial Package, Government Actions, Pending Personal Injury Cases in which Lone Pine Expert Reports Have Been Served, Fee Allocation Committee, Motion for Reconsideration of Order Capping Contingent Fees, Other Motions, Appeals, Motion for Attorney Fees and to Enforce Attorney’s Lien, and the Next Status Conference.

At the conference the Court stated that no further extensions will be granted for ischemic stroke cases under claims review.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Karen Ibos, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Ibos at (504) 589-7776 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Thursday April 29, 2010, at 9:00 a.m., CST. This conference will be held in the courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested parties unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 65761320 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated March 23, 2010.

March 18, 2010
 

The Court issued an order appointing Special Master Juneau to evaluate all disputed liens
for attorneys’ fees and expenses relating to the Vioxx Settlement Payments that have been filed with the Court pursuant to Pretrial Order 47A and issue a report and recommendation to the Court.


February 26, 2010

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 54, including Settlement Agreement, the Vioxx Settlement Program, Lien Administrator’s Report, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters Report, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, PSC MDL Trial Package, Government Actions, Pending Personal Injury Cases in which Lone Pine Expert Reports Have Been Served, Fee Allocation Committee, Motion for Reconsideration of Order Capping Contingent Fees, Other Motions, Appeals, Motion for Attorney Fees and to Enforce Attorney’s Lien, Merck’s Change of Name, and the Next Status Conference.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Cathy Pepper, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Pepper at (504) 589-7779 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Tuesday, March23, 2010, at 9:00 a.m., CST. This conference will be held in the courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested parties unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 60379919 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated February 26, 2010.

January 28, 2010

The Vioxx monthly status conference, which was previously scheduled for Wednesday, February 3, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. has been rescheduled for Friday, February 26, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. This conference will be held in the courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested parties unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 50168042 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

January 21, 2010

Recently, the pending appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit regarding the disputed portions of attorneys fees were voluntarily dismissed. Pursuant to Pretrial Order 49, attorneys fees which were in dispute had been placed in an escrow account pending resolution of the aforementioned appeals. The Court felt that it was necessary to place these funds in escrow because it recognized that in resolving these appeals the Fifth Circuit might decide to either increase or decrease the amount of attorneys fees. Because of this potential it seemed appropriate to escrow the entire fee.

Considering this, it now appears that the maximum contingency fee percentage is no longer in dispute. Pursuant to this Court’s previous orders, contingent fee agreements are capped at 32% of a claimant’s total recovery. Accordingly, on this date, the Court ordered that the Claims Administrator shall release all undisputed attorneys fees to the appropriate party, less, of course, the amount escrowed for common benefit counsel fees, which remains in dispute. To see a copy of the Court’s Order, click here.


January 7, 2010

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 53, including Settlement Agreement, Registration and Enrollment of Claims in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator’s Report, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, PSC MDL Trial Package, Third Party Payor Cases, Government Actions, Discovery Issues and Other Issues in Connection with Third Party Payor and Government Actions, Pending Personal Injury Cases in which Lone Pine Expert Reports Have Been Served, Third Party Payor’s Motions, Merck’s Motions and Rules on PTOs, Fee Allocation Committee, Motion for Reconsideration of Order Capping Contingent Fees, Other Motions, Appeals, Motion for Attorney Fees and to Enforce Attorney’s Lien, Merck’s Change of Name, Oasis Legal Finance, Inc. loans, and the Next Status Conference.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Karen Anderson Ibos, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Ibos at (504) 589-7776 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Wednesday, February 3, 2010, at 9:00 a.m., CST. This conference will be held in the courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested parties unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 50168042 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated January 7, 2010.

December 5, 2009

Throughout the course of this litigation, the Court received numerous communications from claimants who were seeking information regarding their claims. It became necessary to establish a method for dealing with these inquiries. Accordingly, the Court appointed Robert M. Johnston to serve as the Pro Se Curator. In addition, all inquiries were forwarded to the court appointed Claims Administrator, BrownGreer, PLC. Upon receipt of these inquiries, BrownGreer took action as appropriate. For a sample summary of the communications received and BrownGreer’s responses, click here.

December 3, 2009

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 52, including Settlement Agreement, Registration and Enrollment of Claims in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator’s Report, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, PSC MDL Trial Package, Third Party Payor Cases, Government Actions, Discovery Issues and Other Issues in Connection with Third Party Payor and Government Actions, Pending Personal Injury Cases in which Lone Pine Expert Reports Have Been Served, Third Party Payor’s Motions, Merck’s Motions and Rules on PTOs, Fee Allocation Committee, Motion for Reconsideration of Order Capping Contingent Fees, Other Motions, Appeals, Motion for Attorney Fees and to Enforce Attorney’s Lien, Merck’s Change of Name, and the Next Status Conference.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Jodi Simcox, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Simcox at (504)589-7780 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Thursday, January 7, 2010, at 9:00 a.m., CST. This conference will be held in the courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. Any interested parties unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 45619097 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated December 3, 2009.

November 23, 2009

The next monthly status conference will be held on Thursday, December 3, 2009, at 9:00 a.m., CST. The Court would like to note that this conference will now be held in the courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Room C-468. This conference will no longer be held in the courtroom of Judge Helen G. Berrigan, Room C-552, as originally scheduled. Any interested parties unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 38343753 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

November 13, 2009

The Claims Administrator has prepared a letter for attorneys to send to clients who failed Gates and were found ineligible for the Vioxx Settlement Program. The letter explains the process each claim went through and the multiple layers of review it received. It is provided to assist you in communicating with your clients, but you are not under any obligation to send it. Two versions of this letter are available: (1) an Adobe.pdf version on Vioxx Claims Administrator letterhead that is generic and non-Claimant specific; or (2) a Word version that you may personalize for your specific claimants and place on your letterhead. To obtain a copy of the generic Adobe.pdf version Click Here. To obtain a copy of the Word version to personalize for your claimant(s), Click Here. If you change the substance of the Word version, you may not represent that the letter is an official communication from the Vioxx Claims Administrator.

October 23, 2009

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Helen G. Berrigan.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 51, including Settlement Agreement, Registration and Enrollment of Claims in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator’s Report, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, PSC MDL Trial Package, Third Party Payor Cases, Government Actions, Discovery Issues and Other Issues in Connection with Third Party Payor and Government Actions, Pending Personal Injury Cases in which Lone Pine Expert Reports Have Been Served, Third Party Payor’s Motions, Merck’s Motions and Rules on PTO 28 Non-Compliance, Fee Allocation Committee, Motion for Reconsideration of Order Capping Contingent Fees, Merck’s Motions and Rules on PTO 29 Non-Compliance, Other Motions, Appeals, Motion for Attorney Fees and to Enforce Attorney’s Lien, and the Next Status Conference.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Toni Tusa, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Tusa at (504)589-7778 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Thursday, December 3, 2009, at 9:00 a.m., CST. This conference will be held in the courtroom of Judge Helen G. Berrigan, Room C-552. Any interested parties unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 38343753 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated October 23, 2009.

October 14, 2009

On September 30, 2009, BrownGreer announced that the final heart attack point value is $1,865.01. Final payments for more than 20,000 qualifying heart attack cases have been issued at this time.

Questions may arise from the issuance of these payments. The Plaintiffs’ Negotiating Committee has developed a template to guide counsel and claimants through the disbursement of final payments. This template is available on the Court’s website and BrownGreer’s website. All questions relating to the template should be directed to the Plaintiffs’ Negotiating Committee at NPC@browngreer.com.

If you have any questions about the lien withholdings applicable to a claim, please direct those inquiries to the Lien Resolution Administrator at (877) 774-1130.

September 17, 2009

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 50, including Settlement Agreement, Registration and Enrollment of Claims in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator’s Report, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, PSC MDL Trial Package, Third Party Payor Cases, Government Actions, Discovery Issues and Other Issues in Connection with Third Party Payor and Government Actions, Pending Personal Injury Cases in which Lone Pine Expert Reports Have Been Served, Third Party Payor’s Motions, Merck’s Motions and Rules on PTO 28 Non-Compliance, Fee Allocation Committee, Motion for Reconsideration of Order Capping Contingent Fees, Merck’s Motions and Rules on PTO 29 Non-Compliance, Other Motions, Appeals, Motion for Attorney Fees and to Enforce Attorney’s Lien, and the Next Status Conference.

At the status conference, the Court emphasized the importance of maintaining firm deadlines in order to guarantee timely payments. Attorneys are encouraged to be diligent in meeting all deadlines as the deadlines are not flexible.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Toni Tusa, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Ibos at (504)589-7778 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Friday, October 23, 2009, at 9:00 a.m., CST. This conference will be held in the courtroom of Judge Helen G. Berrigan, Room C-552. Any interested parties unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 33193844 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated September 17, 2009.

August 13, 2009

The Plaintiff’s Motion to Set Reimbursement of Common Benefit Expenses for Hearing (Rec. Doc. 21544) and the Claims Administrator’s Motion for Order Setting Procedure for Attempted Liens Against Attorneys’ Fees (Rec. Doc. 21567) are currently set for hearing in open court on Friday, August 21, 2009, at 9:00 a.m., CST. Any interested persons unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code will be 25482788 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

July 31, 2009

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 49, including Settlement Agreement, Registration and Enrollment of Claims in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator’s Report, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, PSC MDL Trial Package, Third Party Payor Cases, Government Actions, Discovery Issues and Other Issues in Connection with Third Party Payor and Government Actions, Pending Personal Injury Cases in which Lone Pine Expert Reports Have Been Served, Third Party Payor’s Motions, Merck’s Motions and Rules on PTO 28 Non-Compliance, Fee Allocation Committee, Motion for Reconsideration of Order Capping Contingent Fees, Merck’s Motions and Rules on PTO 29 Non-Compliance, Other Motions, Appeals, Motion for Attorney Fees and to Enforce Attorney’s Lien, and the Next Status Conference.

At the status conference, the Court emphasized the importance of maintaining firm deadlines in order to guarantee timely payments. Attorneys are encouraged to be diligent in meeting all deadlines as the deadlines are not flexible.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Karen Anderson Ibos, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Ibos at (504)589-7776 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Thursday, September 17, 2009, at 9:00 a.m., CST. Any interested parties unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 23388659 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated July 31, 2009.

June 24, 2009

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 48, including Settlement Agreement, Registration and Enrollment of Claims in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator’s Report, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, PSC MDL Trial Package, Third Party Payor Cases, Government Actions, Discovery Issues and Other Issues in Connection with Third Party Payor and Government Actions, Pending Personal Injury Cases in which Lone Pine Expert Reports Have Been Served, Third Party Payor’s Motions, Merck’s Motions and Rules on PTO 28 Non-Compliance, Fee Allocation Committee, Motion for Reconsideration of Order Capping Contingent Fees, Merck’s Motions and Rules on PTO 29 Non-Compliance, Other Motions, Appeals, Motion for Attorney Fees and to Enforce Attorney’s Lien, and the Next Status Conference.

At the status conference, the Court emphasized the importance of maintaining firm deadlines in order to guarantee timely payments. Attorneys are encouraged to be diligent in meeting all deadlines as the deadlines are not flexible.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Karen Anderson Ibos, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Ibos at (504)589-7776 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Friday, July 31, 2009, at 9:00 a.m., CST. Any interested parties unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is17206865 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated June 24, 2009.

May 29, 2009

The monthly status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 47, including Settlement Agreement, Registration and Enrollment of Claims in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator’s Report, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, State/Federal Coordination–State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, PSC MDL Trial Package, Third Party Payor Cases, Government Actions, Discovery Issues and Other Issues in Connection with Third Party Payor and Government Actions, Pending Personal Injury Cases in which Lone Pine Expert Reports Have Been Served, Third Party Payor’s Motions, Merck’s Motions and Rules on PTO 28 Non-Compliance, Fee Allocation Committee, Motion for Reconsideration of Order Capping Contingent Fees, Merck’s Motions and Rules on PTO 29 Non-Compliance, Merck’s Motion on PTO 31 Non-Compliance, Other Motions, and the Next Status Conference.

The monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Cathy Pepper, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Pepper at (504)589-7779 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Wednesday, June 24, 2009, at 9:00 a.m., CST. Any interested parties unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is12996559 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated May 29, 2009.

April 29, 2009

The monthly status conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 46, including Settlement Agreement, Registration and Enrollment in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Vioxx Suit Statistics, PSC MDL Trial Package, Third Party Payor Cases, Third Party Payors’ Motion, DecisionQuest, Inc., Fee Allocation Committee, Motion for Reconsideration/Revision of Capping Order, Merck’s Motions and Rules on PTO 29 Non-Compliance, Merck’s Motion on PTO 31 Non-Compliance, and other motions.

This monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Pinkey Ferdinand, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Ferdinand at (504) 589-7781 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Friday, May 29, 2009, at 9:00 a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon. Counsel, plaintiffs, or any other interested parties unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 98649943 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated April 29, 2009.


April 17, 2009

The Court is in receipt of the Plaintiff Steering Committee’s Motion for Award of 8% of the Settlement Proceeds as Common Benefit Fees. (Rec. Doc. 17642). Any award of common benefit fees will be deducted from the fees of the principal attorneys. Counsel may obtain a copy of the motion here.

Any parties who wish to object to the motion shall file a notice of objection and serve it on Plaintiff’s Liaison Counsel on or before May 8, 2009. Shortly thereafter, the Court will convene a status conference with any objectors and representatives of the PSC to discuss an appropriate schedule for discovery, briefing, and argument.

March 27, 2009

The monthly status conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 45, including Settlement Agreement, Registration and Enrollment in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Vioxx Suit Statistics, PSC MDL Trial Package, Third Party Payor Cases, Motion to Dismiss Foreign Individual Cases, Third Party Payors’ Motion, Merck’s Motion and Rule on PTO 28 Non-Compliance (Lone Pine Requirements), DecisionQuest, Inc., Fee Allocation Committee, Motion for Reconsideration/Revision of Capping Order, Merck’s Motions and Rules on PTO 29 Non-Compliance, and Merck’s Motion on PTO 31 Non-Compliance.

This monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Toni Tusa, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Tusa at (504) 589-7778 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Wednesday, April 29, 2009, at 9:00 a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon. Counsel, plaintiffs, or any other interested parties unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 92906423 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated March 27, 2009.

February 10, 2009

The monthly status conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 44, including Settlement Agreement, Registration and Enrollment in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Merck’s Motion for Summary Judgment, Vioxx Suit Statistics, PSC MDL Trial Package, Third Party Payor Cases, Motion to Dismiss Foreign Individual Cases, Third Party Payors’ Motion, 1199 SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund, Merck’s Motion and Rule on PTO 28 Non-Compliance (Lone Pine Requirements), DecisionQuest, Inc., Fee Allocation Committee, Certain Attorneys’ Motion for Reconsideration/Revision of Order Capping Contingent Fees, and Merck’s Motions and Rules on PTO 29 Non-Compliance.

This monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Karen Anderson Ibos, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Ibos at (504) 589-7776 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Friday, March 27, 2009, at 9:00 a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon. Counsel unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 86232530 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated February 10, 2009.

January 30, 2009

At the monthly status conference on January 22, 2009, the parties indicated that they had reached agreement on a program to assist with the resolution of Vioxx-related liens being asserted by private health insurance providers.  A copy of the final agreement is available here.  This Court has authorized the Lien Resolution Administrator to administer the program. THIS PROGRAM OFFERS SIGNIFICANT LIEN RESOLUTION BENEFITS TO VIOXX CLAIMANTS WHO WERE COVERED BY CERTAIN PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE PROVIDERS OR CERTAIN OTHER PRIVATE BENEFIT PLANS.

As part of the Private Lien Resolution Program, the participating Private Health Insurance Providers have agreed to reduce automatically all Injury-Related Lien Amounts by 50% ("Adjusted Lien Amount"). In addition to automatically reducing all liens by 50%, the participating Private Health Insurance Providers also have agreed to limit or "cap" all liens as follows ("Capped Lien Amount"): (i) 15% of a claimant’s Gross Settlement Amount (before attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses are deducted) up to the first $100,000; (ii) 12.5% of a claimant’s Gross Settlement Amount over $100,000 and up to $250,000; and (iii) 10% of a claimant’s Gross Settlement Amount exceeding $250,000. The Capped Lien Amount will not exceed the Adjusted Lien Amount.

Private Health Insurance Providers generally include health plans provided by claimant’s employers and/or health insurance policies that claimant’s purchased privately. Even if a claimant was eligible for and received benefits through Medicare or Medicaid or any governmental medical program currently being handled by the Lien Resolution Administrator, a claimant could be subject to a lien from a Private Health Insurance Provider as well. Many individuals have private, supplemental medical coverage under programs or policies of insurance such as Medicare Advantage, Medicare + Choice, or under a Federal Employee Benefit Plan. Claimants also may have had dual coverage. That is, they may have been eligible for and covered by Medicare, as well as by an employer-sponsored or other private health plan.

The Program is entirely voluntary and the decision to participate is individual to each claimant. Claimants who are eligible to participate but who choose not to will be responsible for resolving on their own any Vioxx-related lien claimed by their Private Health Insurance Provider(s), and their Provider(s)’ lien resolution agents may not offer claimants the benefits provided by this Program.

The document entitled "Vioxx Private Lien Resolution Program Claimant Information" provides an explanation of the Program’s terms and conditions, including: benefits (lien reduction and caps); costs; the Program’s participation threshold requirement; an explanation of the options claimants have if they choose not to participate; and the steps claimants must take immediately if they would like to participate. This document also explains that each participating claimant’s final lien obligation(s) automatically will be paid to the Private Health Insurance Provider(s) directly by the Claims Administrator out of the client’s final Settlement Payment (as opposed to any "interim" Settlement Payment).

The deadline for claimants to elect to participate in the Program is March 20, 2009. Each claimant who voluntarily chooses to participate must submit both a signed "Notice of Private Lien Resolution Program Offer and Acceptance" and "Authorization for Use and Disclosure of Protected Health Information" (HIPAA Authorization) to the Lien Resolution Program Administrator that is postmarked by the March 20, 2009 deadline.

Attached are a Notice to Primary Counsel and a Claimant Information Sheet.

Questions can be directed to the Lien Resolution Administrator at: (877) 774-1130.

 

January 22, 2009

The monthly status conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 43, including Settlement Agreement, Registration and Enrollment in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Merck’s Motions, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, PSC MDL Trial Package, Third Party Payor Cases, Motion to Dismiss Foreign Individual Cases, Third Party Payors’ Motion, 1199 SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund, Merck’s Nonresponsive Plaintiffs Cross-Motion and Rule, Merck’s Motion and Rule on PTO 28 Non-Compliance (Lone Pine Requirements), DecisionQuest, Inc., Fee Allocation Committee, Certain Attorneys’ Motion for Reconsideration/Revision of Order Capping Contingent Fees, and Merck’s Motions and Rules on PTO 29 Non-Compliance.

This monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Karen Anderson Ibos, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Ibos at (504) 589-7776 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Tuesday, February 10, 2009, at 2:00 p.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon. Counsel unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 83054017 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated January 22, 2009.


December 31, 2008

On December 31, 2008, the Fifth Circuit entered a stay of the Court’s Order appointing the Tulane Civil Litigation Clinic pending hearing on the matter. Prior to the issuance of the stay, the Court had received inquiries from several claimants and directed the inquiries to the Clinic as per the Court’s Order.

December 19, 2008

On August 27, 2008, the Court issued an Order & Reasons capping all contingent fees for attorneys representing claimants in the Vioxx Settlement at 32% plus reasonable costs. Pursuant to the Court’s Order, no attorney representing a Vioxx claimant may collect more than 32% of the claimant’s settlement award for attorneys’ fees. In other words, all Vioxx claimants should receive at least 68% of their net settlement award, minus reasonable costs.

On December 10, 2008, certain plaintiffs’ attorneys ("The Vioxx Litigation Consortium" or "VLC") filed a motion to reconsider the Court’s ruling. The VLC is a group of plaintiffs’ attorneys from the law firms of Provost & Umphrey Law Firm, LLP; Williams, Kherker, Hart, Boundas, LLP; Ranier, Gayle & Elliot, LLC; The Watts Law Firm, LLP; and the Kaiser Law Firm, LLP. The VLC seeks to collect contingent fees in excess of the 32% cap set by the Court. Because any additional attorneys’ fees will come directly from the claimants’ settlement awards and will result in less recovery for the Vioxx claimants, the VLC attorneys’ interests on this particular issue are potentially in conflict with the interests of their clients. It is thus appropriate for the Vioxx claimants to have their fee interests represented by independent counsel.

Accordingly, the Court has appointed the Tulane Civil Litigation Clinic to represent the fee interests of Vioxx claimants affected by the Court’s 32% Capping Order. All Vioxx claimants who have questions about this matter or who wish to comment on the motion may contact the Tulane Civil Litigation Clinic at (504) 865-5153, or by writing to the following address:

Tulane Civil Litigation Clinic
6329 Freret Street
New Orleans, LA 70118

In the near future, the Court will schedule a status conference with representatives of the VLC and the Tulane Civil Litigation Clinic to set a briefing and argument schedule for the motion to reconsider. A copy of the Order appointing the Tulane Civil Litigation Clinic is available here.

December 19, 2008

The monthly status conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 42, including Settlement Agreement, Registration and Enrollment in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Merck’s Motions, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, PSC MDL Trial Package, Third Party Payor Cases, Motion to Dismiss Foreign Individual Cases, Third Party Payors’ Motion, 1199 SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund, Merck’s Nonresponsive Plaintiffs Cross-Motion and Rule, Merck’s Motion and Rule on PTO 28 Non-Compliance (Lone Pine Requirements), Merck’s Rule to Show Cause Why Cases Should Not Be Dismissed Without Prejudice For Failure To Prosecute, issues related to DecisionQuest, Inc., the Plaintiff’s Fee Allocation Committee, Certain Attorneys’ Motion for Reconsideration/Revision of Order Capping Contingent Fees, Merck’s Motions and Rules on PTO 29 Non-Compliance, and Merck’s Rule 25(a)(1) Motion.

This monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Toni Tusa, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Tusa at (504) 589-7778 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Thursday, January 22, 2009, at 9:00 a.m., CST, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon. Counsel unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 79438398 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated December 19, 2008.

November 21, 2008

The monthly status conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 41, including Settlement Agreement, Registration and Enrollment in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Merck’s Motions, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, PSC MDL Trial Package, Third Party Payor Cases, Motion to Dismiss Foreign Individual Cases, Third Party Payors’ Motion, 1199 SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund, Merck’s Nonresponsive Plaintiffs Cross-Motion and Rule, Merck’s Motion and Rule on PTO 28 Non-Compliance (Lone Pine Requirements), Merck’s Rule to Show Cause Why Cases Should Not Be Dismissed Without Prejudice For Failure To Prosecute, issues related to Decision Quest, Inc., and the Plaintiffs’ Fee Allocation Committee.

This monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Toni Tusa, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Tusa at (504) 589-7778 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Friday, December 19, 2008, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 75782228 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated November 21, 2008.

October 28, 2008

The deadline for enrolling eligible claimants in the settlement program is October 30, 2008. The Court has now conducted four case management conferences to ensure that plaintiffs who are eligible for the settlement program but who have not enrolled in the program have all necessary information available to them so that they can make informed choices before the deadline passes. The Court conducted the first case management conference in New Orleans on October 17, 2008; the second conference took place in New York on October 20, 2008; the third conference took place in Chicago on October 21, 2008; and the fourth conference took place with pro se plaintiffs via telephone on October 24, 2008. The Court does not take a position on the settlement and neither encourages nor discourages participation; rather, the Court merely endeavors to insure that all eligible plaintiffs have the information necessary to make informed choices. Any plaintiffs who are eligible to enroll but who have remaining questions regarding the settlement are encouraged to contact Plaintiffs Liaison Counsel, the Pro Se Curator, or the Claims Administrator. Contact information is available on the "Contacts" page of this website. A transcript of the October 21 conference is available here.

October 17, 2008

The monthly status conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 40, including Settlement Agreement, Registration and Enrollment in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Merck’s Motions, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, PSC MDL Trial Package, Third Party Payor Cases, Motion to Dismiss Foreign Individual Cases, Termination of Tolling Agreements, Third Party Payors’ Motion, 1199 SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund, Merck’s Nonresponsive Plaintiffs Cross-Motion and Rule, Merck’s Motion and Rule on PTO 28 Non-Compliance (Lone Pine Requirements), Merck’s Rule to Show Cause Why Cases Should Not Be Dismissed Without Prejudice For Failure To Prosecute, issues related to Decision Quest, Inc., and the Court’s Order Setting Conferences On October 17, 20, and 21, 2008, For Eligible Plaintiffs Who Have Not Yet Enrolled.

This monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Karen Anderson Ibos, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Ibos at (504) 589-7776 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Friday, November 21, 2008, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 70032804 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated October 17, 2008.

October 14, 2008

The final deadline for enrollment in the Vioxx settlement program is October 30, 2008. The Court will hold three case management conferences to ensure that plaintiffs who are eligible for the settlement program but who have not enrolled in the program by, among other things, submitting a release to the Claims Administrator, have all necessary information available to them so that they can make informed choices before the deadline passes. The Court reminds all counsel and all claimants that this is an absolute deadline; after October 30, 2008, there will be no more enrollments.

1. The first conference will be held in Judge Fallon’s Courtroom in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Friday, October 17, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. central standard time, at the United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, Room C-456, 500 Poydras Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. The telephone conference number for claimants who have filed notices of hardship and are unable to attend in person is 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 66730748 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

2. The second conference will be held on Monday, October 20, 2008, at 10:00 eastern standard time, at the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, 500 Pearl Street, New York, New York, in Courtroom 6A. The telephone conference number for claimants who have timely filed notices of hardship and are unable to attend in person is 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 69743837 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

3. The third conference will be held on Tuesday, October 21, 2008, at 10:00 central standard time, at the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois, in Courtroom 1719. The telephone conference number for claimants who have timely filed notices of hardship and are unable to attend in person is 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 69744944 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

The Court advises all counsel that completing the documentation necessary to enroll a plaintiff may take up to several days. Accordingly, the Court strongly urges all counsel representing plaintiffs who seek to enroll in the settlement to act with all possible haste. Waiting until the last minute to enroll your client may seriously jeopardize your client’s ability to participate in the settlement.

In addition, the Court has been notified that some counsel are under a mistaken belief that their clients are enrolled in the settlement when in fact the clients are not enrolled. These counsel have not accessed the Claims Administrator’s website to monitor the status of their clients’ cases or in any way taken any action to verify that their clients are in fact enrolled in the settlement. The Court has repeatedly emphasized the importance of closely monitoring the Claims Administrator’s website to pay close attention to the status of claimants whose claims have been submitted for enrollment in the settlement. With the deadline for enrollment now imminent, it is more important than ever that counsel closely monitor the status of their clients’ cases as they proceed through the enrollment process.

September 29, 2008

The Court issued Pretrial Order No. 35A, which clarifies the procedures by which attorneys may request medical records for deceased claimants and permits medical records providers to deposit records into the registry of the Court.

September 23, 2008

The monthly status conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 39, including Settlement Agreement, Registration and Enrollment in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Merck’s Motions, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, PSC MDL Trial Package, Third Party Payor Cases, Motion to Dismiss Foreign Individual Cases, Termination of Tolling Agreements, Third Party Payors’ Motions, Merck’s Motion to Dismiss Cases of Non-Registrants, and the 1199 SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund, Merck’s Nonresponsive Plaintiffs Cross-Motion and Rule, Merck’s Motion and Rule on PTO 28 Non-Compliance (Lone Pine Requirements), and issues related to Decision Quest, Inc.

This monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Karen Anderson Ibos, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Ibos at (504) 589-7776 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Friday, October 17, 2008, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 66730748 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated September 23, 2008.

September 15, 2008

The Court issued Pretrial Order 6D, setting forth fee allocation guidelines for the distribution of common benefit fees.

August 27, 2008

The Court issued an order capping contingent fee arrangements for all counsel representing claimants in the Vioxx global settlement at 32% plus reasonable costs.

August 21, 2008

At the monthly status conference, the Court requested that the parties prepare a notice for distribution to all counsel for enrolled claimants regarding the importance of frequently checking the Claims Administrator’s Vioxx Portal website, as any notice posted to the site will constitute valid notice to the attorney and will trigger any relevant deadlines for response or appeal. The parties have provided the following notice for immediate distribution:

* * *

Primary Counsel Urged to Check Secure Web-Portal Daily

In the monthly Vioxx MDL status conference held on Wednesday, August 20, 2008, the Claims Administrator provided an update on the progress of its review of claims submitted in the Vioxx Settlement Program and explained to the Court the methodology it is using for delivering crucial Notices relating to claims status and outcome to Primary Counsel on behalf of their clients. As soon as the Claims Administrator makes a determination regarding a claim, it will post a Notice on the secure website created for each Primary Counsel Firm. Firms may log on to www.browngreer.com/vioxxsettlement and then to your secure portal using the password provided previously to your Firm, select the "Claims" option, and then select Option 2, entitled, "Claims Status." This will take you to a page where you can search by Notice type to find, for example, all claimants who have received Notice of Points Awards. By selecting the specific claimant, you are then able to view the Notice itself, print it, and then send it to your client. If a claimant has not yet received any official Notice, the claims status of that claimant will nonetheless be available and will change on the portal as the claim moves through the process.

Because some Notices contain deadlines for submission of additional information or appeal, the Court encourages Counsel to check your secure web portal daily. The Claims Administrator sends email reminders automatically at the end of each day if new Claims information has been added to your portal, which should be a reminder to review carefully the updates on the portal and to stay abreast of each claimants' status.

* * *

August 20, 2008

The monthly status conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 38, including Settlement Agreement, Registration and Enrollment in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Merck’s Motions, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, PSC MDL Trial Package, Third Party Payor Cases, Motion to Dismiss Foreign Individual Cases, Termination of Tolling Agreements, Third Party Payors’ Motions, Merck’s Motion to Dismiss Cases of Non-Registrants, and the 1199 SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund, and Merck’s Nonresponsive Plaintiffs Cross-Motion and Rule.

This monthly status conference was transcribed by Ms. Jodi Simcox, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Simcox at (504) 589-7780 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Tuesday, September 23, 2008, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 61569828 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated August 20, 2008.

August 7, 2008

The Court issued an order denying motions from two separate groups of third-party health insurance providers seeking to enjoin distributions of interim settlement awards.

July 17, 2008

The monthly status conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 37, including Settlement Agreement, Registration and Enrollment in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Merck’s Motions, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, PSC MDL Trial Package, Third Party Payor Cases, Motion to Dismiss Foreign Individual Cases, Termination of Tolling Agreements, Third Party Payors’ Motions, Merck’s Motion to Dismiss Cases of Non-Registrants, and the 1199 SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund.

This monthly status conference was transcribed by Pinkey Ferdinand, Official Court Reporter. Counsel may contact Ms. Ferdinand at (504) 589-7781 to request a copy of the transcript.

The next monthly status conference will be held on Wednesday, August 20, 2008, in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code is 56980680 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated July 17, 2008.

June 27, 2008

The monthly status conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 36, including Settlement Agreement, Registration of Claims in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Merck’s Motions, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, the PSC MDL Trial Package, Third Party Payor Cases, Motion to Dismiss Foreign Individual Cases, Termination of Tolling Agreements, Motion to Modify and/or Suspend Pre-Trial Order No. 28, Third Party Payors’ Motion, Merck’s Motion to Dismiss Cases of Non-Registrants, and 1199SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund. The next monthly status conference shall be held on July 17, 2008 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code will be 54310442 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated June 27, 2008.

May 22, 2008

The monthly status conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 35, including Settlement Agreement, Registration of Claims in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Merck’s Motions, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, the PSC MDL Trial Package, Other Motions, Third Party Payor Cases, Motion to Dismiss Foreign Individual Cases, Termination of Tolling Agreements, Motion to Modify and/or Suspend Pre-Trial Order No. 28, Third Party Payors’ Motion. The next monthly status conference shall be held on June 27, 2008 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code will be 49296911 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated May 22, 2008.

The Court also entered Pre-Trial Order 37 which provides for the procedures for counsel to follow in requesting access to the PSC Trial Package.

May 6, 2008

The Court entered Pre-Trial Order 36 which provides the rules and procedures for counsel to follow in filing a motion to withdraw from representation of a client.

Additionally, the Court entered an Order denying without prejudice all pending motions to withdraw from representation of a client. The Court stated that if counsel still wishes to withdraw from representation, they may re-file their motion to withdraw in accordance with Pre-Trial Order 36.

April 17, 2008

The monthly status conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in this Joint Report No. 34, including Settlement Agreement, Registration of Claims in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Merck’s Motions, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, the PSC MDL Trial Package, Other Motions, and Third Party Payor Cases. The next monthly status conference shall be held on May 22, 2008 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code will be 44372126 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated April 17, 2008.

April 10, 2008

The Court entered Pre-trial Order 6C which supplements Pre-Trial Order 6 by setting forth the time and expense reporting procedure for submissions by the Negotiating Plaintiffs’ Counsel and by setting forth additional procedures for submissions of plaintiff’s counsel’s time and expense submissions relating to matters common to all claimants in state court Vioxx matters.

The Court also entered Pre-Trial Order 35 which sets out the rules and procedures relating to the authorization for release of healthcare, pharmacy and other records relating to claimants enrolling in the Vioxx resolution program.

March 25, 2008

The monthly status conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 33, including Settlement Agreement, Registration of Claims in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Merck’s Motions, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, the PSC MDL Trial Package, Other Motions, and Third Party Payor Cases. The next monthly status conference shall be held on April 17, 2008 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code will be 41049946 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated March 25, 2008.

March 20, 2008

The Court has set for hearing at the next monthly status conference the following motions:

• The Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee’s Motion to Dismiss the Verified Petition of Healthcare Recoveries, Inc. Rec. Doc. No. 13627.

• Merck’s Motion to Dismiss the Verified Petition of Healthcare Recoveries, Inc. Rec. Doc. No. 13683.

Additionally, the Court has issued an Order to Show Cause (Rec. Doc. No. 13694) in the following cases:

DeMeerleer, et al. v. Merck & Co., Inc., Case No. 07-7513;

Jackson, et al. v. Merck & Co., Inc., Case No. 07-9138; and

Durham, et al. v. Merck & Co., Inc., Case No. 07-9196.

This Order to Show Cause was issued due to Plaintiffs’ Counsel’s failure to comply with the Court’s Order severing the Plaintiffs’ claims. Plaintiffs’ counsel in these cases is ordered to appear and show cause as to why their cases should not be dismissed.

Subsequent to the issuance of the Court’s Order to Show Cause, Plaintiffs’ counsel in the Jackson and Durham cases contacted the Court to inform it that they had filed a motion for reconsideration of the Court’s severance orders. After further inquiry, Plaintiffs’ counsel determined that they had not properly filed their motion with the Court through the CM/ECF system. Rather, Plaintiffs’ counsel merely uploaded its motion to the Lexis/Nexis File and Serve Service. Counsel has subsequently filed their motion with the Court through the CM/ECF system. The Court has issued an Order (Rec. Doc. No. 13793) stating that Plaintiffs’ counsel in Jackson and Durham are no longer required to appear before the Court on March 25, 2008.

February 21, 2008

The monthly status conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 32, including Settlement Agreement, Registration of Claims in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Deposition Scheduling, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Merck’s Motions, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, Motion to Conduct Case Specific Discovery, the PSC MDL Trial Package, Other Motions, and Third Party Payor Cases. The next monthly status conference shall be held on March 25, 2008 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code will be 36433304 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated February 21, 2008.

February 19, 2008

The Court has appointed Mr. Robert M. Johnston of Johnston, Hoefer, Holwadel & Eldrige to serve as Curator to assist pro se claimants and pro se tolling claimants by explaining their options regarding the prosecution of their Vioxx lawsuits. The Order appointing Mr. Johnston explain the scope of his duties, and any pro se claimant or pro se tolling claimant that has questions regarding the prosecution of their claim should contact Mr. Johnston.

February 12, 2008

The Court entered Pretrial Order 6B which amends and supplements Pretrial Order 6 and 6A by confirming the functions, duties and responsibilities of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel and the PSC Executive Committee.

January 18, 2008

The Court entered Pretrial Order 28(A) which amends and supplements Pretrial Order 28 by clarifying that service of notices for preservation of records may be by either certified or registered mailings.

Also, the monthly status conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 31, including Settlement Agreement, Registration of Claims in the Settlement Program, Lien Administrator, Special Master and Deputy Special Masters, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Deposition Scheduling, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Merck’s Motions, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, Motion to Conduct Case Specific Discovery, Dr. Farquar, the PSC MDL Trial Package, Other Motions, and Third Party Payor Cases. The next monthly status conference shall be held on February 21, 2008 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code will be 32008125 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated January 18, 2008.

December 14, 2007

The Court entered Pretrial Order 31B which amends and supplements Pretrial Orders 31 and 31A by clarifying that the Registration Affidavits and the Registration of Claims Spreadsheet need only be filed with the Claims Administrator. Pretrial Order 31B also amends the registration affidavit.

Also, the monthly status conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 30, including Settlement Agreement, State Court Trial Settings, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Deposition Scheduling, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Merck’s Motions, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, Motion to Conduct Case Specific Discovery, Dr. Farquar, and the PSC MDL Trial Package. The next monthly status conference shall be held on January 18, 2008 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code will be 28526718 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated December 14, 2007.

December 10, 2007

The Court entered Pretrial Order No. 33 and Pretrial Order No. 34, which direct Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel to contact pro se plaintiffs and pro se tolling claimants regarding the settlement program.

December 4, 2007

The Court entered Pretrial Order No. 31(A), which amends and supplements Pretrial Order No. 31 by clarifying that the Registration Affidavits and the Registration of Claims Spreadsheet need not be filed with the Court.

November 20, 2007

The Court entered Pretrial Order No. 32, which appoints a committee of plaintiffs’ attorneys to be responsible for recommending to the Court the allocation to be made by the Court of awards of attorneys’ fees from the Settlement Fee and Cost Account.

November 9, 2007

The parties announced today that Merck & Co., Inc. has agreed to pay $4.85 billion to resolve Vioxx-related claims in which a claimant has suffered a heart attack, sudden cardiac death, or stroke. For further information on the settlement program, see the following website, which is sponsored by the MDL Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee: http://www.officialvioxxsettlement.com/

The Court also entered four pretrial orders on this date:

Pretrial Order No. 28 (Revised Exhibit A & Exhibit B) requires certain plaintiffs with claims pending or tolled as of this date to produce certain information within specified time periods. The exhibits can be edited and completed electronically.

Pretrial Order No. 29 (Revised Exhibit A & Exhibit B) requires plaintiffs whose claims are filed in, or transferred into, this MDL on or after this date to produce certain information within specified time periods. The exhibits can be edited and completed electronically.

Pretrial Order No. 30 temporarily stays activity in this MDL with some exceptions.

Pretrial Order No. 31 (Revised Exhibit A & Revised Exhibit B) concerns the registration of claims. The exhibits can be edited and completed electronically.  The Registration of Claims Spreadsheet must be submitted with the registration affidavit and has been provided by the Claims Administrator in Microsoft Excel format.

November 8, 2007

The Court GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART three Motions for Summary Judgment filed by Merck on statutes of limitations grounds. Order & Reasons dated November 8, 2007 (#1); Order & Reasons dated November 8, 2007 (#2); Order & Reasons dated November 8, 2007 (#3).

October 11, 2007

The monthly status conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 28, including State Court Trial Settings, Further Proceedings in the Early Federal Court Cases, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Deposition Scheduling, Plaintiff Profile Form and Merck Profile Form, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, IMS Data, Merck’s Motion for Summary Judgment, Tolling Agreements, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, Merck Insurance, Motion to Conduct Case Specific Discovery, Oxford/VICTOR Data, and the PSC MDL Trial Package. The next monthly status conference shall be held on November 9, 2007 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code will be 20713894 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated October 11, 2007.

September 27, 2007

The Court entered Pretrial Order No. 27, which discusses the Court’s in camera inspection of the PSC trial package.

September 6, 2007

The monthly status conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 27, including State Court Trial Settings, Further Proceedings in the Early Federal Court Cases, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Deposition Scheduling, Plaintiff Profile Form and Merck Profile Form, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, IMS Data, Merck’s Motion for Summary Judgment, Tolling Agreements, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, Merck Insurance, Motion to Conduct Case Specific Discovery, Oxford/VICTOR Data, Flippin Motion to Remand, and the PSC MDL Trial Package. The next monthly status conference shall be held on October 11, 2007 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code will be 16088848 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated September 6, 2007.

September 5, 2007

The Court entered Pretrial Order No. 26, which prohibits multiple unrelated claimants from joining in one complaint.

September 4, 2007

The Court revised its Order & Reasons dated August 14, 2007 concerning privilege issues to correct several typographical errors. Revised Order & Reasons dated August 14, 2007.

August 14, 2007

The Court ADOPTED IN PART and MODIFIED IN PART the Special Master’s Report and Recommendations on a representative sampling of Merck’s privilege claims. Order & Reasons dated August 14, 2007. The Court’s resolution of Merck’s objections to individual recommendations are contained in Chart I, Chart II, and Chart III.

August 2, 2007

The Court entered an Order today filing Special Master Rice’s Third Report and Amended Recommendations on privilege issues into the record. The Special Master’s amended recommended rulings on individual documents are set forth in Amended Appendix I - Part A - Merck’s 2000 documents and Amended Appendix I - Part B - PSC’s 600 documents.

July 31, 2007

The Court entered an Order today filing into the record Special Master Rice’s Second Report and Recommendations regarding the assertion of privilege for Merck documents circulated to third parties.

July 27, 2007

The monthly status conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 26, including State Court Trial Settings, Further Proceedings in the Early Federal Court Cases, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Deposition Scheduling, Plaintiff Profile Form and Merck Profile Form, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, IMS Data, Merck’s Motion for Summary Judgment, Tolling Agreements, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, Merck Insurance, Motion to Conduct Case Specific Discovery, and Oxford/VICTOR Data. The next monthly status conference shall be held on September 6, 2007 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code will be 11540037 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated July 27, 2007.

July 5, 2007

The Court entered Pretrial Order No. 25, which sets forth the terms of Pro Se Claimants’ access to the PSC document depository.

July 3, 2007

The Court entered an Order today filing Special Master Rice’s Report and Recommendations on privilege issues into the record. The Special Master’s recommended rulings on individual documents are set forth in Appendix I - Part A - Merck’s 2000 documents and Appendix I - Part B - PSC’s 600 documents.

July 3, 2007

The Court DENIED Merck’s Motion for Summary Judgment on Federal Preemption grounds. Order & Reasons dated July 3, 2007.

June 28, 2007

The monthly pretrial conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 25, including State Court Trial Settings, Further Proceedings in the Early Federal Court Cases, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Plaintiff Profile Form and Merck Profile Form, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, IMS Data, Merck’s Motion for Summary Judgment, Tolling Agreements, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, Merck Insurance, the PSC’s Motion to Conduct Case Specific Discovery, and Deposition Scheduling. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on July 27, 2007 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:30 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may listen-in via telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code will be 5923245 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated June 28, 2007.

June 14, 2007

The Court entered Pretrial Order No. 24, which sets a final 90-day extension for all Plaintiffs who are either from Louisiana or represented by Louisiana Counsel (Exhibit A) and Pro Se Plaintiffs (Exhibit B) who have failed to serve the Plaintiff Profile Forms ("PPFs"), Authorizations, and responsive PPF-related documents as required by Pretrial Order No. 18C. A form "consent order with stipulation" is also provided for any Plaintiff who does not claim that he or she suffered a cardiovascular event as defined by PTO 18C (Exhibit C).

June 5, 2007

The Court DENIED Merck’s Renewed Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law and alternative Motion for a New Trial on All Issues in the Gerald Barnett v. Merck & Co., Inc. bellwether case. The Court also MODIFIED its previous Order & Reasons in this case to provide that there shall only be a new trial if the Plaintiff refuses to accept a remitted award of $1.6 million. Order & Reasons dated June 5, 2007.

May 31, 2007

The monthly pretrial conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 24, including State Court Trial Settings, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Further Proceedings in the Early Federal Court Cases, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Deposition Scheduling, Plaintiff Profile Form and Merck Profile Form, Pro Se Claimants, IMS Data, Merck’s Motion for Summary Judgment, Tolling Agreements, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, Merck Insurance, the PSC’s Motion to Compel Return of Attorney Work Product, and the PSC’s Motion to Conduct Case Specific Discovery. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on June 28, 2007 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may listen-in by telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code will be 3037893 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated May 31, 2007.

May 29, 2007

The Court GRANTED the Plaintiff Evelyn Irvin Plunkett’s Motion for a New Trial. Order & Reasons dated May 29, 2007.

May 29, 2007

The Court DENIED the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee’s Motion to Compel the Return of Attorney Work Product. Order & Reasons dated May 29, 2007.

May 3, 2007

The Court entered Pretrial Order No. 6A, which further outlines the functions and duties of the PSC’s accounting firm.

May 1, 2007

The Court appointed Brent B. Barriere as Special Counsel to provide local facilities and assistance to Special Master Rice. Order Appointing Special Counsel.

April 25, 2007

The Court appointed Professor Paul R. Rice of American University to review and resolve Merck’s privilege claims. Order Appointing Special Master.

April 12, 2007

The monthly pretrial conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 23, including State Court Trial Settings, Further Proceedings in the Early Federal Court Cases, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Deposition Scheduling, Plaintiff Profile Form and Merck Profile Form, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, IMS Data, Merck’s Motion for Summary Judgment, Tolling Agreements, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, Merck Insurance, Further Proceedings, Merck’s Statute of Limitations Motion, Discovery Relating to the Martin Report, Remand Motions, the PSC’s Motion to Compel Return of Attorney Work Product, and Michael Hingle & Associates, L.L.C.’s Motions to Withdraw as Counsel of Record. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on May 31, 2007 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:30 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may listen-in by telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code will be 5842068 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated April 12, 2007 .

March 22, 2007

The Court DENIED Merck’s Motion for Summary Judgment on statute of limitations grounds in three individual cases. Order & Reasons dated March 22, 2007.

March 20, 2007

The Court entered Pretrial Order No. 23, which governs the dating of authorizations for the release of medical and other records.

March 7, 2007

The parties have agreed to establish a deadline for the submission of claims under the Tolling Agreement. No further requests for tolling shall be accepted under the Tolling Agreement beyond April 9, 2007. Notice of Amendment to Tolling Agreement dated March 7, 2007.

March 5, 2007

The Court GRANTED Merck’s Motion for a Protective Order Prohibiting Discovery of Attorney Work Product and Privileged Communications Related to the Martin Report, and DENIED the Plaintiffs’ Motions to Compel. Order & Reasons dated March 5, 2007.

March 1, 2007

The monthly pretrial conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 22, including State Court Trial Settings, Further Proceedings in the Early Federal Court Cases, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Deposition Scheduling, Plaintiff Profile Form and Merck Profile Form, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, IMS Data, Merck’s Motion for Summary Judgment, Tolling Agreements, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, Merck Insurance, Further Proceedings, Merck’s Statute of Limitations Motion, Discovery Directed to the Martin Report, and the Virginia Nadine Perry case. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on April 12, 2007 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may participate by telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code will be 1754859 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon. If counsel participating by telephone intend to raise any issues, he/she should contact the Court at least two days prior to the conference..

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated March 1, 2007.

January 25, 2007

The monthly pretrial conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 21, including State Court Trial Settings, Selection of Cases for Early Federal Court Trial, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Deposition Scheduling, Plaintiff Profile Form and Merck Profile Form, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, IMS Data, Merck’s Motion for Summary Judgment, Tolling Agreements, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, Merck Insurance, Further Proceedings, Merck’s Statute of Limitations Motion, Harrison v. Merck, and Discovery Directed to the Martin Report. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on March 1, 2007 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may participate by telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code will be 7575599 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon. If counsel participating by telephone intend to raise any issues, he/she should contact the Court at least two days prior to the conference..

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated January 25, 2007.

December 14, 2006

The monthly pretrial conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 20, including Lexis/Nexis File & Serve, State Court Trial Settings, Selection of Cases for Early Federal Court Trial, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to the FDA, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Deposition Scheduling, Plaintiff Profile Form and Merck Profile Form, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, IMS Data, Merck’s Motion for Summary Judgment, Tolling Agreements, Issues Relating to Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, Merck Insurance, Further Proceedings, Mandatory Electronic Filing, Merck’s Statute of Limitations Motion, Merck’s Second Request for Writ of Mandamus, and Harrison v. Merck. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on January 25, 2007 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may participate by telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code will be 4735066 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon. If counsel participating by telephone intend to raise any issues, he/she should contact the Court at least two days prior to the conference..

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated December 14, 2006 and Harrison Exhibit.

November 22, 2006

The Court DENIED the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee’s Motion for Certification of a Nationwide Class Action for Personal Injury and Wrongful Death. Order & Reasons dated November 22, 2006.

November 2, 2006

The monthly pretrial conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon. Due to a scheduling conflict, the conference was held in a courtroom without telephone access, and therefore counsel were unable to participate by telephone.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 19, including Lexis/Nexis File & Serve, State Court Trial Settings, Selection of Cases for Early Federal Court Trial, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to the FDA, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Deposition Scheduling, Plaintiff Profile Form and Merck Profile Form, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Generic Trial Performance and Rule 702 and Motions in Limine Issues, IMS Data, Merck’s Motion for Summary Judgment, Tolling Agreements, Motion for Clarification of Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, Merck Insurance, Further Proceedings, Mandatory Electronic Filing, Merck’s Statute of Limitations Motion, Merck’s Second Request for Writ of Mandamus, and Harrison v. Merck. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on December 14, 2006 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may participate by telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code will be 1480379 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon. If counsel participating by telephone intend to raise any issues, he/she should contact the Court at least two days prior to the conference..

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated November 2, 2006.

November 2, 2006

Because the monthly conference is being held in a different courtroom and due to schedule conflicts, there will not be a conference call this morning. The minute entry will be posted later today.

September 28, 2006

The monthly pretrial conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 18, including Lexis/Nexis File & Serve, State Court Trial Settings, Selection of Cases for Early Federal Court Trial, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to the FDA, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Deposition Scheduling, Plaintiff Profile Form and Merck Profile Form, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Motion to Dismiss Foreign Class Action Complaints on Forum non Conveniens Grounds, Generic Trial Performance and Rule 702 and Motions in Limine Issues, IMS Data, Merck’s Motion for Summary Judgment, Tolling Agreements, Motion for Clarification of Pre-Trial Order No. 9, Vioxx Suit Statistics, Merck Insurance, Further Proceedings, Mandatory Electronic Filing, and Merck’s Statute of Limitations Motion. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on November 2, 2006 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may participate by telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code will be 7845241 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon. If counsel participating by telephone intend to raise any issues, he/she should contact the Court at least two days prior to the conference..

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated September 28, 2006.

August 30, 2006

The Court ordered that there shall be a new trial on the issue of damages in Barnett v. Merck & Co., Inc., 06-485. Order & Reasons dated August 30, 2006.

August 30, 2006

The Court GRANTED Merck & Co., Inc’s Motion to Dismiss the Foreign Class Actions, as it relates to the Italian and French class action complaints, under the doctrine of forum non conveniens. Order & Reasons dated August 30, 2006.

August 24, 2006

The monthly pretrial conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 17, including Lexis/Nexis File & Serve, State Court Trial Settings, Selection of Cases for Early Federal Court Trial, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to the FDA, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Deposition Scheduling, Plaintiff Profile Form and Merck Profile Forms, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Motion to Dismiss Foreign Class Action Complaints on Forum non Conveniens Grounds, Generic Trial Performance and Rule 702 and Motions In Limine Issues, IMS Data, Discovery in Non-Trial Cases, Merck’s Motion for Summary Judgment, Tolling Agreements, and a potential Motion for Clarification of Pre-Trial Order No. 9. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on September 28, 2006 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 9:30 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may participate by telephone at 1-866-213-7163. The access code will be 5217718 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon. If counsel participating by telephone intend to raise any issues, he/she should contact the Court at least two days prior to the conference..

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated August 24, 2006.

July 13, 2006

The monthly pretrial conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 16, including Lexis/Nexis File & Serve, State Court Trial Settings, Selection of Cases for Early Federal Court Trial, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to FDA, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Deposition Scheduling, Plaintiff Profile Form and Merck Profile Forms, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Motion to Dismiss Foreign Class Action Complaints on Forum non Conveniens Grounds, Generic Trial Performance and Rule 702 and Daubert and In Limine Issues, IMS Data, Discovery in Non-Trial Cases, USDC-ECF System, Certificate of Service for E-Filings, and Merck’s Motion for Summary Judgment. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on August 24, 2006 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 10:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may participate by telephone at 1-800-473-8695. The access code will be 51288781 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon. If counsel participating by telephone intend to raise any issues, he/she should contact the Court at least two days prior to the conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated July 13, 2006.

June 29, 2006

The Court entered Pretrial Order No. 8B, which governs electronic service.

June 23, 2006

The Court entered Pretrial Order No. 18C, which amends and supersedes Pretrial Orders No. 18, 18A, and 18B and governs the forms and schedule for service of a Plaintiff Profile Form, and executed Authorizations for the release of records to be completed by plaintiffs, and Merck Profile Form to be completed by Merck in all individual cases in which plaintiffs claim to have sustained a myocardial infarction, an ischemic stroke, or a death.

June 16, 2006

The monthly pretrial conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 15, including Lexis/Nexis File & Serve, State Court Trial Settings, Selection of Cases for Early Federal Court Trial, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to FDA, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Deposition Scheduling, Plaintiff and Merck Profile Forms, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Motion to Dismiss Foreign Class Action Complaints on Forum non Conveniens Grounds, VICTOR Data, Generic Trial Performance and Rule 702 and Daubert and In Limine Issues, IMS Data, Discovery in Non-Trial Cases, Carlene Rhodes Lewis, USDC-ECF System, and Certificate of Service for E-Filings. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on July 13, 2006 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 8:30 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may participate by telephone at 1-800-497-7708. The access code will be 50711890 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon. If counsel participating by telephone intend to raise any issues, he/she should contact the Court at least two days prior to the conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated June 16, 2006.

May 18, 2006

The monthly pretrial conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 14, including Lexis/Nexis File & Serve, State Court Trial Settings, Selection of Cases for Early Federal Court Trial, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to FDA, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Deposition Scheduling, Plaintiff and Merck Profile Forms, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Motion to Dismiss Foreign Class Action Complaints on Forum non Conveniens Grounds, VICTOR Data, Generic Trial Performance and Rule 702 and Daubert and In Limine Issues, APPROVe Data, IMS Data, and Discovery in Non-Trial Cases. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on June 16, 2006 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 10:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may participate by telephone at 1-800-473-8796. The access code will be 50071739 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon. If counsel participating by telephone intend to raise any issues, he/she should contact the Court at least two days prior to the conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated May 18, 2006.

April 28, 2006

The monthly pretrial conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 13, including Lexis/Nexis File & Serve, State Court Trial Settings, Selection of Cases for Early Federal Court Trial, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to FDA, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Monthly Productions Pursuant to Pre-trial order No. 17, Deposition Scheduling, Plaintiff and Merck Profile Forms, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Motion to Dismiss Foreign Class Action Complaints on Forum non Conveniens Grounds, VICTOR Data, Generic Trial Performance and Rule 702 and Daubert and In Limine Issues, APPROVe Data, IMS Data, PSC’s Motion to Implement Procedure for Rapid Remand, Physician Call Notes/Detailer Custodial Files, and Discovery Directed to Plaintiffs. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on May 18, 2006 in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon at 10:00 a.m. Counsel unable to attend in person may participate by telephone at 1-800-473-8796. The access code will be 49637777 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon. If counsel participating by telephone intend to raise any issues, he/she should contact the Court at least two days prior to the conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated April 28, 2006.

In addition, the Court entered Pretrial Order No. 8A, which concerns electronic service and amend Pretrial Order No. 8.

April 19, 2006

The Court GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART Merck & Co., Inc.’s Motion and Incorporated Memorandum for Reconsideration of Court’s Decision to Overrule Merck’s Asserted Attorney-Client Privilege As to Documents Listed on Merck’s Privilege Log. Order Dated April 19, 2006; Transcript Dated April 19, 2006.

March 23, 2006

The monthly pretrial conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 12, including Lexis/Nexis File & Serve, State Court Trial Settings, Selection of Cases for Early Federal Court Trial, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to FDA, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Monthly Productions Pursuant to Pre-trial order No. 17, Deposition Scheduling, Plaintiff and Merck Profile Forms, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Motion to Dismiss Foreign Class Action Complaints on Forum non Conveniens Grounds, VICTOR Data, Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to rule 54(B) or Alternative Motion to Remand, Generic Trial Performance and Rule 702 and Daubert and In Limine Issues. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on Thursday, April 27, 2006 at 10:00 a.m. in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon. Counsel unable to attend in person may participate by telephone at 1-800-597-0731. The access code will be 48805339 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated March 23, 2006.

February 8, 2006

The Court ruled on the Plaintiff’s Motion for Clarification or Reconsideration of its Daubert Ruling as to Dr. Baldwin and Dr. Graham. Plunkett v. Merck & Co., Inc., 05-4046, Trial Transcript (Feb. 8, 2006). On February 2, 2006, the Court initially ruled on the admissibility of Dr. Graham’s expert testimony. Plunkett v. Merck, 05-4046, Order & Reasons (Feb. 2, 2006). In addition, the Court initially ruled on the admissibility of Dr. Baldwin’s expert testimony on November 18, 2005, and again on December 3, 2005. Plunkett v. Merck, 05-4046, Order & Reasons (Nov. 18, 2005); Plunkett v. Merck, 05-4046, Order & Reasons (Dec. 3, 3005).

February 2, 2006

The monthly pretrial conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 11, including Lexis/Nexis File & Serve, State Court Trial Settings, Selection of Cases for Early Federal Court Trial, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Discovery Directed to FDA, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Deposition Scheduling, Plaintiff and Merck Profile Forms, State/Federal Coordination-State Liaison Committee, Pro Se Claimants, Motion for Clarification of Pretrial Order No. 19, Motion to Dismiss Foreign Class Action Complaints on Forum Non Conveniens Grounds, and Louisiana Attorney General and Blue Cross Matters. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on Thursday, March 23, 2006 at 10:00 a.m. c.s.t. in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon. Counsel unable to attend in person may participate by telephone at 1-800-682-5640. The access code will be 47682208 and the Chairperson will be Judge Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated February 2, 2006.

January 23, 2006

All counsel who wish to participate in the February 2, 2006 Monthly Pretrial Conference by telephone may do so by calling (620) 782-2200, access code 61236.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Order dated January 20, 2006.

January 3, 2006

The monthly pretrial conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 10, including Lexis/Nexis File & Serve, state court trial settings, selection of cases for early federal court trial, class actions, discovery directed to Merck, discovery directed to the FDA, discovery directed to third parties, deposition scheduling, Plaintiff Profile Form and Merck Profile Form, state/federal coordination-state liaison committee, pro se claimants, and a motion for clarification of pretrial order No. 19. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on Thursday, February 2, 2006 at 10:00 a.m. in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated January 3, 2006.

December 1, 2005

The Monthly Pretrial Conference was held on this date in Houston, Texas. At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 9, including Lexis/Nexis electronic service, state court trial settings, selection of cases for early federal court trial, class actions, discovery directed to Merck, discovery directed to the FDA, discovery directed to third parties, deposition scheduling, plaintiff profile forms and Merck profile forms, state/federal coordination, pro se claimants, the motion for clarification of Pretrial Order No. 19, and the scheduling of the next monthly pretrial conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court's Minute Entry dated December 1, 2005.

November 23, 2005

The Court ordered a second amendment to Pretrial Order No. 16, regarding the class certification briefing schedule of the Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Class.

November 20, 2005

The Court ruled on the Defendant's Motions in Limine in the Irvin Plunkett case.

November 18, 2005

The Court entered its rulings on the Plaintiff's and Defendant's Daubert motions in the Irvin Plunkett case, 05-4046. In addition, the Court ruled on the Plaintiff's Motions in Limine in the Irvin Plunkett case.

October 27, 2005

The Monthly Pretrial Conference was held on this date in Houston, Texas. At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 8, including Lexis/Nexis electronic service, orders issued pertaining to Hurricane Katrina, state court trial settings, selection of cases for early federal court trial, class actions, discovery directed to Merck, production of the FACTS database, Vioxx professional representatives, discovery directed to the FDA, discovery directed to third parties, deposition scheduling, plaintiff profile forms and Merck profile forms, remand issues, tolling agreements, state/federal coordination, pro se claimants, and the scheduling of the next monthly pretrial conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court's Minute Entry dated October 27, 2005.

October 25, 2005

A conference call number has been set for the monthly pretrial conference on October 27, 2005, at 11:00 a.m.  Please see the Notice of Call in Number for Details.

October 20, 2005

A telephone status conference was held on this date in the Houston Chambers of Judge Eldon E. Fallon. Due to logistical concerns over the World Series being held in Houston, the monthly pretrial conference scheduled for October 27, 2005, at 9:30 a.m. in Houston is moved back until 11:00 a.m.

These matters are memorialized in the Court's Minute Entry dated October 20, 2005.

October 17, 2005

A telephone status conference was held on this date in the Houston Chambers of Judge Eldon E. Fallon. At the conference, the parties informed the Court that they could not reach an agreement between themselves as to whether the DSC could depose Dr. Richard A. Kronmal. Dr. Kronmal had been deposed and testified in the New Jersey state proceeding, but had not been deposed as of yet in the Irvin / Plunkett case. After considering each parties' arguments, the Court determined that the DSC's deposition of Dr. Kronmal in the Irvin / Plunkett case would be in accordance with the goals of Rule 26(b)(4) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Accordingly, the DSC shall be permitted to depose Dr. Kronmal, but the scope of this deposition shall be limited to matters not previously covered or to matters that have arisen since his previous deposition.

These matters are memorialized in the Court's Minute Entry dated October 17, 2005.

October 12, 2005

A hearing on the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee's Motions to Compel regarding Foreign Vioxx Related Activities and Arcoxia was scheduled on this date. Prior to beginning the hearing, the parties indicated that they were close to reaching a mutually amicable resolution to the motions. As such, the parties asked the Court to delay the hearing until a later date. In addition, the parties informed the Court that they would continue working on the possible resolution and report back to the Court on the status of these motions on Tuesday, October 18, 2005, at 11:00 a.m. The Court agreed with the parties' request.

These matters are memorialized in the Court's Minute Entry dated October 12, 2005.

September 30, 2005

A status conference was held on this date in the Chambers of Judge Eldon E. Fallon in Houston, Texas. Trial counsel in the November 28, 2005, Plunkett trial participated. At the conference, the Court discussed the the law applicable to this case, the use of jury questionnaires, voir dire, the number of jurors, the length of the trial, and the use of exhibits. In addition, the Court issued its Pretrial Order governing the Plunkett case.

These matters are memorialized in the Court's Minute Entry dated September 30, 2005.

September 29, 2005

The Monthly Pretrial Conference was held on this date in Houston, Texas. At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 7, including Lexis/Nexis electronic service, orders issued pertaining to Hurricane Katrina, state court trial settings, selection of cases for early federal court trial, class actions, discovery directed to Merck, production of the FACTS database, Merck's detailer list, discovery directed to the FDA, discovery directed to third parties, deposition scheduling, plaintiff profile forms and Merck profile forms, remand issues, tolling agreements, Louisiana joint complaints, state/federal coordination, pro se claimants, and the scheduling of the next monthly pretrial conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court's Minute Entry dated September 29, 2005.

September 28, 2005

A telephone status conference was held on this date in the Chambers of Judge Eldon E. Fallon in Houston, Texas.  The following matters were discussed: the filing of joint complaints in the MDL and a procedure to handle non-cardiovascular cases that are filed with cardiovascular cases; the effect of Governor Blanco and Chief Judge Berrigan's Orders on the suspension of prescription; contacting Louisiana lawyers without access to e-mail or servers; the scheduling of any Motions to Compel that may be filed by the Plaintiffs concerning the Defendants' September 15th Answers to Plaintiffs' Interrogatories and Production Requests; the scheduling of any motions that Plaintiffs may file with respect to expedited discovery requests; access to Merck's Detailer List; the status of the production of PIRs from Merck's Database for selected states; and the selection of the second and third cases to be tried.

For those attorneys interested in participating by telephone in the September 29, 2005, Monthly Status Conference,  the Call-In Number will be 1-620-782-2200 and the Access Code will be 48250.

 

September 21, 2005

A hearing was held on this date on Defendant Physicians, Motion to Quash/Motion for Protective Order Regarding Merck & Co., Inc.'s Cross-Notices of Plaintiff's Depositions of Eliav Barr, M.D., Susan Baumgartner, Gilbert Block, M.D., James Dunn, Gregory Geba, M.D., and Marty Carroll in the Chambers of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the hearing, the movants expressed their concern over the amount of notice and participation afforded the Defendant Physicians in the scheduling and conducting of depositions. The parties indicated that they had been working on an agreement between themselves which would render the matter moot and asked the Court to delay ruling on the motion. Accordingly, the Court advised the parties that it would take the motion under advisement until September 23, 2005, at 10:00 a.m. (This date has been changed until September 26, 2005, due to the proximity of Hurricane Rita.) If the parties have not reached an agreement by that time, the Court will enter a ruling on the motion.

These matters are memorialized in the Court's Minute Entry dated September 20, 2005

 

September 20, 2005

The parties in the above captioned matter have agreed that the Defendants shall receive a thirty (30) day extension in which to respond to tolling agreements. This gives the Defendants a total of sixty (60) days to respond. (Minute Entry Dated 09/19/05)

September 19, 2005

A telephone hearing will be held on September 20, 2005, at 3:30 p.m. on the Defendant Physicians' Motion for Protective Order Regarding Merck & Cp., Inc.'s Cross-Notices of Plaintiff's Depositions of Eliav Barr, M.D., Susan Baumgartner, Gilbert Block, M.D., James Dunn, Gregory Geba, M.D., and Marty Carroll. A court reporter will be present in Chambers.

September 16, 2005

The parties in the above captioned matter have agreed that the Defendants shall receive a sixty (60) day extension in which to respond to tolling agreements. (Minute Entry Dated 09/16/2005)

September 15, 2005

A telephone status conference was held on this date in the Chambers of Judge Eldon E. Fallon in Houston, Texas. At the conference, the parties discussed the location and date of the Irvin trial. Both counsel agreed that Houston was an appropriate and convenient forum for the trial.

Accordingly, the Irvin trial will be held at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, 515 Rusk Street, Houston, Texas 77002, on November 28, 2005.

These matters are memorialized in the Court's Minute Entry dated September 15, 2005

NOTICE TO ALL COUNSEL

Effective immediately, all filings in this case should be made at the temporary offices of the Clerk of Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana located at 102 Versailles Street, Suite 501, Lafayette, Louisiana 70501. Telephone number (337) 262-6700. Although filings can be made in Houston, Texas, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Houma, Louisiana, the Court requests that the filings be made in Lafayette whenever possible.

Following a telephone status conference held on September 13, 2005, this Amendment to Pre-Trial Order #16 is issued. It concerns the schedule for class actions.

 

September 14, 2005

The following Minute Entry amends the Minute Entries dated September 9, 2005, and September 13, 2005. It concerns the extension of the deadline to complete the Plaintiff profile Forms and the Defendant's answers and specific objections to the requested expedited discovery.

These matters are memorialized in the Court's Minute Entry dated September 14, 2005

Pretrial Order #18B governs the form and schedule for service of Plaintiff Profile Forms, Medical Authorizations, and Merck Profile Forms.  It amends and supersedes Pre-Trial Orders #18 and #18A.

September 13, 2005

A telephone status conference was held on this date in the Chambers of Judge Eldon E. Fallon in Houston, Texas. The following matters were discussed: Plaintiff Profile Form extensions, expedited requests for production, expedited answers to interrogatories, discovery in the New Jersey state proceeding, the status of MDL class actions, the privilege log, access to the MDL Detailer List, letters from Merck to detailers no longer employed by Merck, the location of the Irvin trial, and the next monthly status conference.

These matters are memorialized in the Court's Minute Entry dated September 13, 2005

September 9, 2005

A telephone status conference was held on this date in the Chambers of Judge Eldon E. Fallon in Houston, Texas. The following matters were discussed: the Louisiana Master Class Action Complaint, Plaintiff Profile Forms, Service of Plaintiff Profile Forms through Lexis/Nexis, the effect of the Eastern District of Louisiana's Stay of Proceedings on Prescription, Discovery Responses, Priority Production, the Privilege Log, discovery in the New Jersey state litigation, the Master Class Action Schedule, the Defendants? Opposition to the Plaintiffs? Motion to Compel, and the location of the Irvin trial.

These matters are memorialized in the Court's Minute Entry dated September 9, 2005

September 7, 2005

A telephone status conference was held on this date with Plaintiffs' and Defendants' Liaison Counsel in the Chambers of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.  Chamber have temporarily relocated to the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.  Until further notice, the Houston Division shall act as the filing court for the Vioxx MDL.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by liaison counsel including filing of new complaints, service, the Louisiana Master Class Action Complaint, the privilege log, document discovery, the Plaintiffs' Motion to Produce Foreign Discovery, tolling agreements, the detailer list, the class action schedule, and the location of the November trial.

These matters are memorialized in the Court's Minute Entry dated September 7, 2005. 

All questions regarding filing of new complaints should be directed to liaison counsel.
 

August 25, 2005

The monthly pretrial status conference was held on this date in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 6, including Lexis/Nexis File & Serve, State Court Trial Settings, Selection of Cases for Early Federal Court Trial, Class Actions, Discovery Directed to Merck, Plaintiff Steering Committee Request for Production of Facts Database, Vioxx Professional Representatives, Discovery Directed to the Food and Drug Administration, Discovery Directed to Third Parties, Deposition Scheduling, Plaintiff Profile Form and Merck Profile Form, Medical Records from Healthcare Providers, Contact with Claimants’ Healthcare Providers, Remand Issues, Tolling Agreement, Louisiana Master Complaint, State/Federal Coordination, Pro Se Claimants, and MDL Assessment. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on Thursday, September 29, 2005, at 9:30 a.m.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated August 25, 2005.

July 19, 2005

The monthly pretrial conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 5, including Lexis/Nexis File & Serve, selection of cases for early trial, class actions, master discovery directed to Merck, pretrial order governing individual cases, PSC request for production of FACTS database, discovery directed to FDA, discovery directed to third parties, Vioxx professional representatives, deposition scheduling, Plaintiff and Merck Profile Forms, medical records from healthcare providers, contact with healthcare providers, Plaintiffs’ depository, remand issues, tolling agreement, Louisiana master complaint, state/federal coordination, direct filing into the MDL, pro se claimants, and MDL assessment. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on Thursday, August 25, 2005 at 9:30 a.m. in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated July 19, 2005.

June 23, 2005

The monthly pretrial conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 4, including Lexis/Nexis File & Serve, trial settings, selection of cases for early trial, class actions, discovery directed to Merck, pretrial order governing individual cases, Merck employee information, discovery directed to FDA, discovery directed to third parties, deposition scheduling, Plaintiff and Defendant Profile Forms, medical records from healthcare providers, contact with healthcare providers, Plaintiffs’ depository, confidentiality agreement, remand issues, tolling agreement, State Liaison Committee, waiver of service, direct filing into the MDL, and pro se claimants. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 at 9:30 a.m. in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated June 23, 2005.

May 23, 2005

The monthly pretrial conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 3, including Lexis Nexis File & Serve, trial settings, selection of cases for early trial, class actions, individual cases, document discovery directed to Merck, Merck employee information, insurance information, discovery directed to the FDA, discovery directed to third parties, deposition guidelines and scheduling, Plaintiff and Defendant Profile Forms, medical records from healthcare providers, contact or communications with healthcare providers, Plaintiffs’ depository, confidentiality agreement, remand issues, tolling agreement, State Liaison Committee, pretrial orders regarding waiver of service and directly filing cases into the MDL, and pro se claimants. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on Thursday, June 23, 2005 at 9:30 a.m. in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated May 23, 2005.


April 28, 2005

The monthly pretrial conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 2, including service list of counsel and Lexis-Nexis electronic service application, trial settings, Plaintiffs’ and Defendants’ steering committees, master complaints and answers, discovery directed to Merck, the FDA, and third parties, deposition guidelines and scheduling, Plaintiff Profile Form, medical records from healthcare providers, Defendants’ communications with healthcare providers, document depositories, confidentiality agreement, remand issues, class action cases, tolling agreement, and case management order. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on Monday, May 23, 2005 at 9:00 a.m. in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated April 28, 2005.

March 18, 2005

The initial pretrial conference was held on this date by Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

At the conference, the Court considered issues raised by Liaison Counsel in their Joint Report No. 1, including service list of counsel and LexisNexis electronic service application, trial settings, Plaintiffs’ and Defendants’ steering committees, master complaints, tolling agreements, deposition guidelines, document depositories, plaintiff profile forms, plaintiff time and billing guidelines, position papers, third-party payor claims and defendants other than Merck. The next monthly pretrial conference shall be held on Thursday, April 28, 2005 at 9:00 a.m. in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

These matters are memorialized in the Court’s Minute Entry dated March 18, 2005.

March 7, 2005

Pursuant to Pretrial Order #1, the initial pretrial conference will be held on Friday, March 18, 2005 at 9:00 a.m. in the Courtroom of Judge Eldon E. Fallon.