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Economist estimates losses in Vioxx trial

Economist estimates losses in Vioxx trial

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HOUSTON - The family of the deceased at the center of the first federal Vioxx trial suffered at least $402,373 in economic losses when he died, according to a witness who testified Friday.

Economist Frederick Raffa said he reached the figure by combining estimates of how much Richard "Dicky" Irvin would have earned to support his family and the value of services he provided around the house. Such figures are important because they are a factor in determining compensatory damages if the plaintiff wins the case.

Irvin's widow, Evelyn Irvin Plunkett, is suing Merck & Co. because she believes Vioxx triggered the fatal heart attack her husband suffered in May 2001.

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