Today was a bad, bad day for Merck. They lost the first of many (4000+) lawsuits filed against them. These suits allege that their arthritis painkiller Vioxx caused fatal cardiac side-affects. I have no doubt that they'll try and appeal the ruling, but this really doesn't bode well for them. The precedent has now been set for the \~4000 cases coming down the chute. Details here.