Unions Challenge Vioxx Settlement Payout

     NEW ORLEANS (CN) – The SEIU and Teamsters unions sued six law offices in a federal class action contesting the way the attorneys handled class-action Vioxx litigation against Merck. The unions claim the settlement of the liability class action failed to provide for reimbursements to lien rights of ERISA health plans.

     The unions claim the Nov. 9, 2007 settlement of the liability class actions provides that Merck be held harmless by Vioxx claimants for all private insurance liens, and requires each settling claimant to release Merck from all claims of subrogation, reimbursement, or liens for Vioxx-related medical expenses. This establishes a system of secret distribution of settlement money, which makes it impossible for the plaintiffs to identify their beneficiaries who will be receiving settlement funds, the complaint states.
     Here are the defendants: BrownGreer PLC; Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles PC; Blizzard, McCarthy & Nabers LLP; Girardi and Keese; Herman, Herman, Katz & Cotlar LLP; and Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman.
     Plaintiffs’ lead counsel is Rebecca Dietz with King, Krebs & Jurgens.

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