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Three score and ten or more

Friday, November 09, 2007

Momentary Meditation--Vioxx

I read this afternoon about Merck Co. settling settling 4.85 Billion bucks on 45,000 people who were injured by Vioxx. Some minimal information in the article I read stated that you had to have used Vioxx for at least three months before you had "injury" results to qualify for a piece of that pie.

This set off a greed reaction in me. I started taking Vioxx in February a few years ago for relief from Arthritis pain in my shoulders and knees. In August I started having a lot of new pain in my upper arm, went to a Doctor to see what might be causing it and ended up receiving a quadrupal bypass.

When this whole Vioxx thing hit the papers the vultures began to circle around the internet, and I weakened and sent my name into somebody along with the details of my medical stuff, and received a form reply that said, basically "You didn't die of a heart attack, so we aren't interested in you."

At that, I forgot the whole thing, until this afternoon (I ignored the daily spam that I received about Vioxx suits.) Somehow this mention of 4.86 BILLION dollars being paid out to Vioxx users got my attention and little horns of evil greed started popping out on my forehead (I probably will have to change the avatar at the top of my blog.) I'm really embarrassed.

You don't know how critical I have always been of the lawsuit generation. I have a friend who sued almost everybody over "stuff". He usually won, got a bunch of money, and somehow, deep in the recess of my mind I suspected that he created situations to sue about. I don't remember all the tales he told, but he broke a tooth on a bolt that found its way into a milkshake, and was injured when a ladder broke, and on, and on. Sometime later, I read about the prosecution of the guy who got a mouse into something from one fast food place and about the lady who got a thumb into her Wendy's chili, and wondered if my old friend were not giving classes somewhere about lawsuits.

The fact is that class-action lawsuits have become a part of all our lives. Just this year I received a notice that, as a result of some law suit against Altell, I now have sixty six long distance minutes that I can use with ANYY long distance company. A few years ago my wife started using Phen-fen (or something like that) to lose weight. She had PHENOMENAL results, lost a lot of weight, started jogging and power walking and was so healthy it was almost disgusting. Suddenly they took the product off the market (and Janet was no end P.O. ed) but she had to learn to do without it. A year or so later she received a letter from someone about settlement of a class action suit (she hadn't sued anyone) that asked her to go get an echo-cardiogram (I get them all the time now) . On the basis of that echo-cardiogram and evidence (I guess from the pharmacy or the Dr.) that was received, one day she got a check for 6000 dollars. It was like money dropping in from heaven. She never told anyone but if they had put the product back on the market, she would have spent the 6000 on a multi-year supply. A few years later she got another check for 2800 dollars. (I hope that our glee on this Christmas present type money had nothing to do with the aortal aneurism that made our lives so exciting last fall, about a year ago.)

Anyway there is a part of me that wants to call a lawyer and try to get into this multi-billion dollar thing that Merck is putting out, even though, to be honest, I don't suspect that my daily Vioxx use (which REALLY made the arthritis in my shoulders and knees much less painful) had anything to do with my needing a quadrupal heart bypass. Gee whiz 4.86 billion dollars. I could use some of that. I'm beginning to wonder about my own character. All that money, and if a few thousand dropped on me, I could- - - - -BE NICE Richard. Chase that greed monster away.


At 9:36 PM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Greed? Over 10 million people used Vioxx. That means $500 each minus the 40% the lawyers take leaving at most $300 each.

At 6:09 AM, Blogger brad said...

besides, if you don't take it, the lawyers will end up with it anyway.


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