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Judge Refuses To Delay Vioxx Jury Selection 
10/19/2005 5:09:25 PM

A judge on Tuesday declined to postpone jury selection in the nation's first state-level wrongful death trial related to the painkiller Vioxx because he said he would not assume potential jurors were biased by pretrial publicity. But state District Judge Ben Hardin also told lawyers for Merck & Co., the manufacturer of Vioxx, that he would examine questionnaires answered by the pool of 100 potential jurors next week before making a final decision on Merck's request for a trial delay. Merck asked for a two-month delay to allow for a "cooling off" period for any bias that could taint a jury pool arising from news coverage of a lawsuit that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed last week against the drugmaker.
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