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Maker of Vioxx Is Target of Suit

Oct 2, 2004 | Kansas City Star

Click here for Free Vioxx Lawsuit Case Evaluation

A Lexington, Mo., woman on Friday sued Vioxx manufacturer Merck & Co. over the 2002 death of her daughter.

The lawsuit was filed a day after the drugmaker pulled the arthritis medication off the market because it might increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Caroline Nevels, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, says that Shelly South took Vioxx for about 2½ years for arthritis before she died of a heart attack in November 2002.

Nevels alleges that long before Thursday's announcement, Merck had access to research suggesting that Vioxx significantly increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

South, 34, of Lexington, died at Research Medical Center.

A Merck spokeswoman said that she had not seen the lawsuit and that the company did not comment on litigation.

The lawsuit, filed in Jackson County Circuit Court, also names Carrollton, Mo., physician Waclaw Alex Dymek as a defendant.

Dymek is accused of medical negligence for allegedly prescribing the drug for the mother of two despite her medical history. The suit also alleges that he failed to diagnose the severity of South's heart condition.

Dymek, of the Carroll County Medical Clinic, said he had not seen the lawsuit and did not remember South as a patient.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages and money for medical monitoring of Vioxx users.

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