Merck reaches damages agreement in Fosamax suit

A confidential agreement has been reached in a lawsuit filed against Merck, maker of the osteoporosis drug Fosamax, by a woman who claimed she suffered from Fosamax-related damages to her jaw.

The plaintiff, Shirley Boles, first brought a claim against Merck in September 2009, alleging that the drug caused her to suffer from osteonecrosis of the jaw. That lawsuit resulted in a mistrial.

In a subsequent trial in June 2010, Boles testified that she used Fosamax from 1997 to 2006 and that she suffered various jaw problems and complications following two tooth extractions in June 2002, including a several-day hospitalization in 2004 to treat her condition.

The jury in that trial ultimately awarded Boles $8 million in damages, but a judge later reduced the award to $1.5 million.

Rather than accepting the reduced amount, Boles sought a third trial, which was set to begin in September. However, before the trial commenced, the parties reached a damages agreement, according to a press release from the law firm Bernstein Liebhard.

The amount Merck agreed to pay was not disclosed.

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