Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Merck - Vioxx: Call Raymond Gilmartin

Former Merck & Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Raymond Gilmartin (pic) has agreed to a plaintiff lawyers' request that he testify at a Vioxx trial slated to begin in Atlantic City in late February, both sides said.

Plaintiff lawyer Mark Lanier said he requested Gilmartin's presence and intends to call him because "when you have to look a jury in the eye it is harder to fudge."

Gilmartin has given testimony in videotaped depositions, but Lanier said that it is always better to have a live witness than a tape. He called the depositions "canned speeches" and said it is harder for witnesses to give soliloquies or avoid questions in the presence of a judge.

Lanier said he intends to ask Gilmartin questions that weren't asked in depositions but wouldn't specify what they were.

Insiders' view: If anyone can shake Gilmartin it will be Mark Lanier.


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