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Special Masters Appointed in Program to Resolve U.S. VIOXX(R) Product Liability Lawsuits
Date:3/7/2008

Responsibilities Include Deciding Claimant Appeals

NEW YORK, March 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following statement is from Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP and Herman Herman Katz & Cotlar, LLP:

United States District Judge Eldon E. Fallon met this week with the newly appointed Special Master and Deputy Special Masters who will decide any appeals taken from the findings of the Claims Administrator permitted under the resolution program for Vioxx product liability litigation in the United States, and will conduct hearings and make findings with respect to issues of alleged fraud that may arise with respect to the program.

Judge Fallon appointed as Special Master, Patrick A. Juneau, a Louisiana lawyer who has served as a mediator in more than 2,000 cases. Judge Fallon appointed as Deputy Special Masters retired California appellate Justice John K. Trotter and retired New Jersey Superior Court Judge Marina Corodemus. The Deputy Special Masters were selected based on their respective national experience in complex litigation including mass torts, their reputations in handling the adjudication of difficult issues in mass tort litigation, and recommendations from Judge Carol Higbee, who oversees the Vioxx cases in New Jersey state court, and Judge Victoria Chaney, who oversees the Vioxx cases in California state court.

"The Special Master and Deputies are an important part of the program because they will provide review and oversight to ensure that the program is administered fairly," said Ted Mayer, of Hughes Hubbard & Reed, one of Merck's coordinating defense counsel. "The three Masters together bring broad and deep legal experience. The program will be stronger because of their participation."

"The responsibility of the Masters will be to help ensure that each plaintiff's claim is fairly considered on an individual basis," said Russ Herman, Liaison Counsel in the federal multidistrict VIOXX litigation and Chair of the Pl
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SOURCE Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP and Herman Herman Katz & Cotlar,LLP
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