Nov 24 2009
Merck said today that U.S. District Court Judge John F. Keenan granted summary judgment in Merck's favor in Flemings v. Merck. Flemings is the second of three cases involving FOSAMAX (alendronate sodium) designated by the federal MDL court as a bellwether trial case.
In granting summary judgment in Flemings and dismissing all of the plaintiff’s claims, Judge Keenan ruled that the physician relied upon by Ms. Flemings (Dr. Rose) was unqualified to render an opinion and that Ms. Flemings failed to present sufficient evidence to support her contention that FOSAMAX caused her to sustain osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ).
"It is clear that Dr. Rose's opinion is derived from a 'subjective belief' rather than from scientific knowledge and methodologies," wrote Judge Keenan. "Dr. Rose is not qualified as an expert under Rule 702 and his opinion is inadmissible under Daubert. Plaintiff has offered no other evidence to establish that FOSAMAX caused her to develop ONJ, and therefore her failure to warn claim is insufficient as a matter of law."
"We are pleased that the Court agreed with us that Ms. Flemings did not present any reliable evidence supporting her claim that FOSAMAX caused her to suffer ONJ," said Paul Strain of Venable LLP, outside counsel for Merck. “Unfortunately, Ms. Flemings had medical problems that cause people to develop jaw problems regardless of whether they were taking FOSAMAX.”