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Plaintiffs Must Drop Cases in $4.85B Merck Deal

The pharmaceutical company Merck announced Friday that it will pay nearly $5 billion dollars to settle claims involving the painkiller Vioxx. The settlement only goes into effect if a large number of plaintiffs agree to drop their cases, but that looks likely.

Thousands of people have alleged that the drug caused heart attacks and strokes. Merck estimates that a deal would stop up to 50,000 personal injury lawsuits.

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Wendy Kaufman