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Federal Contractor Misconduct Database (FCMD)

The federal government routinely awards contracts to companies with histories of misconduct, including contract fraud and other violations. POGO believes that providing this website will help to improve contracting decisions and increase public knowledge of how the government spends billions of taxpayer dollars each year. Read more…

McDarby v. Merck (Vioxx Litigation)

John McDarby claimed he suffered a heart attack as a result of his use of the prescription pain medication Vioxx, which is manufactured by Merck. (Merck pulled Vioxx from the market in September 2004 after its own research showed the drug increased the risk of heart attack and stroke.) A New Jersey state court jury found in favor of McDarby and awarded $4.5 million in compensatory damages and $9 million in punitive damages plus $1.8 million in costs and attorneys’ fees. The jury did not not award any damages to co-plaintiff Thomas Cona, who also blamed Vioxx for his heart attack, although they did find that Merck had committed consumer fraud against him by not publicizing Vioxx’s potential risks and assessed $2.4 million in costs and attorneys’ fees. On appeal, in May 2008, the Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division reversed all damages, fees and costs except McDarby’s compensatory damages award.

Misconduct Type
Health
Enforcement Agency
Non-Governmental
Contracting Party
None
Court Type
Civil
Disposition
Judgment Against Defendant
Date of Verdict
4/11/2006
Contractors Involved Penalty
Total
Merck & Co., Inc. $4,500,000
Further Information Released
Appellate Opinion 7/25/2008
Merck Press Release 9/5/2007

Federal Contractor Misconduct Database