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Monday, October 9th 2006

Britons Stunned To Learn American Courts Are For Americans

You’d think after that whole row over military tribunals that foriegners would figure out that in this administration American courts are for a select few!

But nope. 50 British Vioxx plantiffs took a long hard look at what they could recover under the British way of handling torts and the American way, and of course decided the proper course of action was seeking restitution in a New Jersey court. Their reasoning? That’s where Merck developed Vioxx.

First Clue They Were In The Wrong Place…
American Barristers Lawyers Look Less In Place At Children’s Parties

A New Jersey judge sees right through the move,

A New Jersey judge has dismissed about 50 Vioxx-related lawsuits against Merck & Co. filed in state court by British citizens, saying the cases should be heard in Britain.

The British plaintiffs objected to Merck’s motion to dismiss their suits because they said British courts aren’t available or are inadequate to offer a remedy for their alleged injuries, according to a Higbee memo accompanying her order.

From the BBC a British solicitor for some of the plantiffs claims,

“Whilst they should not be forced to look to a foreign jurisdiction to determine their cases, the restricted availability of funding for claimants in group actions in this country, especially public funding is having the effect of denying these people proper access to justice.”

It isn’t all good news for Merck.

New Jersey Superior Court Judge Carol Higbee also ordered that Merck, of Whitehouse Station, N.J., must take steps to ensure that the plaintiffs can have their cases heard in British courts. If British courts decline to accept them, the drug maker must not prevent the suits from being refiled in New Jersey, the judge ordered.