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Why was the Vioxx settlement approved?

In 2013, a settlement was approved for those who had used the painkiller Vioxx. It had only been sold until 2004, but it was found that those who used it had a higher risk of circulatory problems, such as heart attacks and strokes. These could cause serious injuries, lasting health issues and even death.

During the case, the company that made Vioxx never actually admitted liability in these instances. However, a settlement was reached anyway, paying out between $21 million and $37 million to people all across Canada.

Each person's case had to be examined individually. Some of the factors that were considered when determining if a payout was needed and how much was to be paid included:

-- How long the person had been using Vioxx.
-- The individual's age.
-- Whether or not the person smoked.
-- If the person had high cholesterol.
-- If the person had been diagnosed with either hypertension or diabetes.
-- The person's weight.
-- The use of other drugs and alcohol.
-- The person's family history.

The payout was ordered not just because the drug had the negative side effects listed above, but due to allegations that the company making the drug actually tried to keep consumers from finding out about these issues. This potentially put even more people at risk, as those who took it without knowledge of the danger may not have taken it at all if they'd been informed.

This case illustrates some of the key factors to consider when you are harmed by a drug or medication, and it's important to know your legal rights when that happens.

Source: Rochon Genova, "UPDATE: (April 20, 2013): Canada-Wide Vioxx Settlement Agreement Approved," accessed July 07, 2016

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