Lead Attorneys In Vioxx Settlement Get $315.3M

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The federal judge overseeing the thousands of lawsuits filed over withdrawn painkiller Vioxx has ruled that the lead lawyers in the case will get $315.3 million, while other lawyers who sued Merck & Co. will share $1.2 billion.

U.S. District Judge Eldon J. Fallon, in a ruling Tuesday, wrote that the lead lawyers deserve 6.5 percent of the $4.85 billion settlement. That's less than the 8 percent they initially sought.

Merck withdrew Vioxx from the market on Sept. 30, 2004, after its own research showed the once-blockbuster arthritis pill doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke.
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