first_img The judge told the lawyers that could include going to the head of New Jersey’s Administrative Office of the Courts to “tell him I need 50 judges from the state, and I need 50 Vioxx trials to start the same day.” Merck officials insist they intend to fight each lawsuit individually, although general counsel Kenneth Frazier at one point said Merck might consider settling some cases involving long-term Vioxx use. Ted Mayer, a spokesman for Merck, said Friday that the company has always expected to try cases involving use of 18 months or more. “We believe we have a strong story to tell in these cases,” he said. “We do want to work with the judge on an orderly and fair process to set cases for trial.” Lawyer Mark Lanier, who won the Texas trial, said Higbee appears to want to get a handle on how cases involving long-term Vioxx use, which represent about 60 percent of the cases on her docket, will play out. “She made it very clear that her job is to find justice” in each case, Lanier said, “and she can’t do that moving one case at a time for the rest of her career.” Lanier said lawyers whose clients took Vioxx for 18 months or longer, when they get to trial, will stress that Merck’s own lawyers have admitted “Vioxx causes heart attacks after 18 months.” “Merck’s going to have to eat those words,” said Lanier, who has about 250 cases pending in New Jersey and plans to file up to 1,800 more here. Plaintiff lawyer James J. McHugh Jr., who has 500 Vioxx lawsuits filed in New Jersey and expects to file up to 1,500 more here, said he still thinks cases involving short-term Vioxx use are winnable, partly because one Harvard study showed cardiac risks developed within 30 days of Vioxx use. “It would be reckless to Merck shareholders if they did not start settling cases and they are continually tagged with verdicts” against them, McHugh said. Higbee has set the next conference on scheduling cases for Thursday. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! TRENTON, N.J. – The next Vioxx product-liability case to come to trial in New Jersey will likely be a tougher battle for manufacturer Merck & Co., which last week got its first courtroom victory in a case involving short-term use of the now-withdrawn painkiller. New Jersey Superior Court Judge Carol Higbee, who is overseeing about 3,500 Vioxx lawsuits filed in New Jersey – half the suits filed to date – has told attorneys she wants the next group of trials to involve plaintiffs who took the drug for 18 months or more. Plaintiff lawyers said the judge appears to want to determine how such cases will play out in an attempt to encourage the settlement of some lawsuits. Whitehouse Station-based Merck has admitted Vioxx doubled risk of heart attacks and strokes after use for 18 months or longer; it pulled the blockbuster arthritis pill from the market in September 2004 after its own research showed that. Cases with such long-term use will be harder for Merck to defend, although plaintiffs still have the heavy burden of proving Vioxx caused them harm, plaintiff lawyers say. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “If there’s any case that should truly be indefensible, it’s the 18 months and over (case) because Merck has conceded that,” said lawyer Chris Seeger. Seeger said he is eager for another shot at Merck after losing to the drugmaker when an Atlantic City jury on Nov. 3 ruled against his client, who had taken Vioxx for two months before having a heart attack. Seeger said he will soon file a motion for a new trial – admittedly a long shot – based on signs the jury was biased in favor of Merck, including post-verdict juror comments that the plaintiff survived and shouldn’t be complaining, and that Seeger and his lawyer colleagues were “barracudas.” The plaintiffs in the first Vioxx trial, which ended in August with a $253 million jury award to the widow of a Vioxx user in Texas, and next one also took Vioxx for just a few months. The next trial is set for federal court in Houston on Nov. 29. Plaintiff lawyers said Higbee’s announcement at a conference this week that she wanted to next see “more representative cases” appears to set the stage to push Merck to begin settling some cases to avoid years and years of Vioxx trials in her courtroom. “There’s going to be a point, if we actually have to try every case, where we’re going to have to take some drastic measures,” Higbee said, according to a transcript. last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We are still hanging in there. I can relate to the folks who are watching their crops go backwards in slow motion. We have had a few rare dry days here. You don’t realize how much you appreciate sunshine until you have a year like this.The weed pressure that is coming is the most important thing we are watching right now. We were lucky and got the vast majority of the corn sprayed before it turned wet but we haven’t really sprayed any beans yet. It is pretty obvious which fields need sprayed and in a hurry. Even though ground conditions are not ideal, given the forecast we are going to spray some beans today in the most desperate fields. The grasses are really starting to come and the giant ragweed is pretty obvious.The way this business works is that the years when the crops are getting beat up you have to invest more money in them just to preserve what you have when you know you are getting less of a gross dollar coming in at the end of the season. It looks like it will be one of those years. We have to bump up our herbicide rate and change our program to take care of some of these weeds that are bigger.Average isn’t quite what it seems to be. The mind has a way of remembering all of the wonderful years and forgetting the horrible ones. With that in mind, I would say we are looking at below average crops here, but I did do some traveling and I am very thankful for what we’ve got verses what I’ve seen.We didn’t have any prevented planting, but I saw some prevented planting field and I saw some fields where they wish it was prevented planting. We are born and bred to plant a crop, but the advice we have been given in the past is to run the numbers and take the emotion out of it. I objected to that advice, but it is the best thing to do and then you hope you never have to do it again.last_img read more

first_imgNowitzki has already said he is considering a 21st season. Barring a dramatic improvement through a trade, the draft or free agency, that likely means another year of helping turn Smith into a point guard that can guide a champion the way Nowitzki credits Jason Kidd for doing in Dallas.Assuming the Mavericks stay near the bottom of the West standings, they’ll have another high draft pick after getting Smith at No. 9. That will be another young player who sees the work Nowitzki does away from the court to stay in shape, and a 13-time All-Star who is frequently the last player to quit shooting after practice.J.J. Barea spent his first five seasons with the Mavericks and was still a relatively young guard at 26 when the Mavericks won the title.“I used him a lot,” said Barea, who returned to Dallas three years ago. “If I work half of what he does, I’m going to be all right. These guys, they really didn’t get him at his best like I got him. But they still see how hard you’ve got to work to be able to play out there with us.”Nowitzki doesn’t mind admitting that practice isn’t quite as fun as it used to be.“But once the ball goes up, it’s still great,” said the 2007 MVP, who has career averages of 21.4 points and 7.7 rebounds. “I still love to compete. I still love to be out there for the guys and trying to help them with my experience and spread the floor for them and maybe getting some timely scoring here and there.”Always big on self-deprecation, Nowitzki quips that he can’t help the younger players by showing them any moves. He doesn’t have to be joking to acknowledge that his patented one-legged fadeaway jumper isn’t nearly as dangerous as it was when he was Finals MVP.What Nowitzki can offer is work ethic and experience, not to mention longevity. He became the sixth NBA player to reach 50,000 minutes Tuesday night at the Los Angeles Clippers.“It’s been two decades of fun and competing,” Nowitzki said. “Getting to 20 years is special. There’s not a lot of guys that have done it. Not a lot of guys have done it with one franchise. I’m proud of that, but want to finish the season strong.”Nowitzki always finds a way to steer the conversation back to the present — and future. Now in his 20th season, Nowitzki is comfortable with the idea that he led the Mavericks to their first title and can try to help a younger core build toward making Dallas a title contender again.“I just think I pride myself with this city, with this organization, whatever this city or this franchise goes through, I want to push it through,” Nowitzki said. “I want to be there for it. If it’s rebuilding, I want to push it through and help as much as I can. If we’re playing for a championship, then I’ll do that.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe Mavericks haven’t won a playoff series since beating Miami in the Finals in 2011, LeBron James’ first season with the Heat. They had a woeful start for the second straight year, all but assuring that they will miss the playoffs with consecutive losing seasons for the first time since Nowitzki’s first two.The slide out of contention means little to the context of Nowitzki’s career: a 7-footer who changed the game with his 3-point shooting, the first foreign-born player to reach 30,000 points and the distinction with Kobe Bryant (Lakers) as the only players to spend 20 seasons with the same franchise. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH MOST READ LATEST STORIES Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises FILE – In this May 25, 2011, file photo, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41), of Germany, holds up his arms as fans cheer during the final seconds of Game 5 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Dallas. Now in his 20th season, Nowitzki is comfortable with the idea that he led the Mavericks to their first championship and can try to help a younger core build toward making Dallas a title contender again. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki made peace years ago with the reality that spending his entire career with the Dallas Mavericks would likely mean little or no chance to win a second championship.The most accomplished European player in NBA history never seriously considered leaving the franchise that courted him as a teenager in Germany and drafted him five days after his 20th birthday in 1998.ADVERTISEMENT AFP official booed out of forum Wizards beat Pacers to win 5th straight without Wall NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers View comments Read Next John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games03:06‘Pamana’: Mausoleum caretaker cherishes humble work for family01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City “I think the reality is that when you see this kind of consistency of greatness, there’s a tendency to take it for granted,” said Rick Carlisle, in his 10th season as Nowitzki’s coach. “And we must be careful about taking this for granted. We’re seeing a generational player that’s changed the game.”Nowitzki still starts — Carlisle pretty much declared earlier this season that he will start as long as he’s playing — but often sits at the end of close games. He’s probably the fourth scoring option, behind Harrison Barnes, Wesley Matthews and even rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr.But the 39-year-old played the first 54 games, an important measure for him to feel he’s contributing. Nowitzki, the only 7-footer to win the 3-point contest that’s part of All-Star weekend, is in position for the best shooting percentage of his career from beyond the arc. The number of attempts isn’t far off from his prime either.“I wish he can play forever,” said Washington coach Scott Brooks, who was at Oklahoma City when the Thunder lost to the Mavericks in the 2011 Western Conference finals and beat them in the first round the next year.“You know the time is winding down, you don’t know how many more years he has. He probably has maybe six or seven more left in him,” Brooks said, trying to keep a straight face.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMClast_img read more