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A federal jury in New Orleans found Merck negligent in warning about the risks of Vioxx. The plaintiff in the case, Jerry Barnett, is a former FBI agent who had a non-fatal heart attack. In addition to the compensatory damages award, the jury also awarded Mr. Barnett, $1 million in punitive damages. In 2004 a study showed that Vioxx increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The drug was then pulled off the market. Merck has continued to deny that Vioxx caused any deaths and has denied any wrongdoing.

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