Torts Keyed to Dobbs
Merck & Co. v. Garza
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At the time of his death on April 21, 2001, Plaintiffs’ husband and father Leonel Garza was seventy-one years old and had a history of heart problems. On March 27, 2001, Garza visited his cardiologist Dr. Evans because he had been experiencing numbness, left arm pain and weakness that he had experience on and off for 24 hours. Dr. Evans gave him Vioxx to ease the pain in his arm; Garza had never taken Vioxx prior to this prescription. On April 4, Garza returned to obtain his stress test results, this time seeing Dr. Evans’ partner, Dr. Posada. Because Garza’s stress test showed a mild abnormality, Dr. Posada recommended a cardiac catheterization, which Garza declined pending his next appointment with Evans. Although Dr. Posada does not recall giving Garza more Vioxx, Garza’s wife testified that he did. On April 21, Garza died of a heart attack. His wife and children sued Merck on design and marketing defect strict liability claims based on allegations that Vioxx caused Garza’s death. The jury found in favor of the plaintiffs, Merck appealed, and the appeals court reversed.
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