Merck Secures Dismissal of False Claims Suit

Skadden represented Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. in a suit against D.C. resident Kenneth Walker, who sought more than $2 million in damages in connection with False Claims Act allegations brought in the District of Columbia alleging that Merck misrepresented the safety of Vioxx and caused the city to pay for Vioxx prescriptions it otherwise would not have covered. On March 28, the federal court overseeing the multidistrict Vioxx proceedings dismissed the claim, holding that the allegations of fraud had been publicly disclosed prior to suit, barring the action.