Tyler, Texas – Daughters Mourn Mother’s Vioxx-Related Death

July 14, 2016 by

Tyler, Texas – Daughters Mourn Mother’s Vioxx-Related Death

Today, Vioxx is known for the incredible danger it posed to consumers. Approved in 1999 by the FDA and taken off the market just 5 years later, the drug was found to more than double the risk of heart attack and death in users in one study. Between 1999 and 2003, it was estimated that 27,000 deaths had been linked to Vioxx with more to come.

In 2007, Merck, the makers of Vioxx, settled 27,000 suits involving 47,000 sets of plaintiffs from across the country for $4.85 billion ― one of the largest civil litigation settlements in history. While $4.85 billion sounds like an almost incomprehensible amount of money, the profits Merck made in one year at the time far surpassed $4.85 billion. Furthermore, spread among 47,000 plaintiffs, the average settlement amount would only amount to a little over $100,000 — a small consolation in the wake of losing a loved one, which is exactly what Opal Wallace and Jewel Jordan experienced.

Taking Vioxx to soothe her arthritis, Matilda “Susie” Hayter, Jewel and Opal’s mother, died at the age of 80 despite being in outstanding health for her considerable age. Matilda suffered a fatal heart attack while taking Vioxx, and her daughters later discovered the link between their mother’s death and the dangerous prescription drug. As Opal explained in an interview with KLTV, “I feel betrayed because my, I believe my mother still had a lot of years because with her background… her mother lived to be about 99.”

Sadly, for many huge corporations like pharmaceutical companies, decisions about drugs often come down to profits and losses rather than real concern for potential victims that could suffer from injurious or even fatal side effects. In cases like these, attorneys like the ones at Hossley & Embry may be the ones who ultimately uncover connections between a defective drug and it’s dangerous side effects. And they will almost certainly be the ones who help hold these huge companies to account when they jeopardize the safety and well-being of innocent victims who trusted them and their health care providers who prescribed a drug to help them.

If you or someone you know has been injured or lost a loved one because of a defective drug or medical device, contact the attorneys at Hossley & Embry right away. We have the resources available (including charter aircraft) to travel throughout Texas and the United States on short notice to investigate your potential claim.


Berenson, A. (2007, November 9). Merck agrees to settle Vioxx suits for $4.85 billion. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/09/business/09merck.html?_r=0

Berenson, A., Harris, G., Meier, B., & Pollack, A. (2004, November 14). Despite warnings, drug giant took long path to Vioxx recall. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/14/business/despite-warnings-drug-giant-took-long-path-to-vioxx-recall.html

Watler, T. (n.d.). Family speaks out about Vioxx settlement. KLTV. Retrieved from http://www.kltv.com/Global/story.asp?S=7360183