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Hagens Berman Appointed Co-Lead Counsel in Case Against Schering-Plough and Merck

Lawsuit claims manufacturers misled consumers about the use of Zetia and


SEATTLE, June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Last week the U.S. District Court in New Jersey appointed Hagens Berman, along with four other firms, co-counsel in a case against Schering-Plough (NYSE: SGP) and Merck (NYSE: MRK) which claims the companies knowingly misled consumers on the use of popular prescription drugs Zetia and Vytorin.


Judge Dennis Cavanaugh approved and ordered an organizational structure consisting of five law firms to comprise a Plaintiffs Steering Committee which is responsible for coordinating plaintiffs during pretrial proceedings and more.

The order states that within one week defendants and plaintiffs are to submit a proposed schedule regarding the filing of a consolidated amended complaint.

The lawsuit, filed on Jan. 17, 2008, claims Schering-Plough and Merck violated state consumer protection laws arising from the sale and marketing of Zetia and Vytorin.

Zetia is a brand-name prescription drug used to lower LDL levels by decreasing cholesterol absorption in the intestinal tract. Vytorin is a combination of Zetia and Zocor, a statin available in generic form.

The suit claims that the combination of drugs was no more effective than the generic version of Zocor in blocking the fatty arterial plaques that can cause heart attack and stroke, as the manufacturers led consumers to believe since 2006.

The companies promoted Zetia heavily, claiming that by adding it to statin treatment, patients could more effectively lower LDL cholesterol which would, in turn, reduce plaque in patients' arteries, according to their advertisements.

But according to the complaint, the companies had prior information that refuted that claim.

To view updates on the case and additional court documents please visit You can contact plaintiff's attorneys, Steve Berman or Craig Spiegel at (206) 623-7292 or via e-mail at

About Hagens Berman

Hagens Berman, formally Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, is based in Seattle with offices in Chicago, Cambridge, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Francisco. Since 1993, it has developed a nationally recognized practice in class-action and complex litigation. Among recent successes, HBSS has negotiated a $300 million settlement in the DRAM memory antitrust litigation; a $340 million recovery on behalf of Enron employees; a $150 million settlement involving charges of illegally inflated charges for the drug Lupron, and served as co- counsel on the Visa/Mastercard litigation which resulted in a $3 billion settlement, the largest anti-trust settlement to date. HBSS served as counsel in a $850 million Washington Public Power Supply settlement and represented Washington and 12 other states against the tobacco industry that resulted in the largest settlement in history. For a complete listing of HBSS cases, visit


Steve Berman (206) 623-7292

Hagens Berman

Mark Firmani (206) 443-9357

Firmani + Associates Inc.

SOURCE Hagens Berman
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