Court’s In Camera Privilege Review Found Only 491 Documents Privileged, of 30,000 Claimed; Fifth Circuit Finds Review Process Inadequate and Orders Re-Examination of 2,000 Documents
Vioxx Prods. Liab. Litig. Steering Comm. v. Merck & Co., Inc., 2006 WL 1726675 (5th Cir. May 26, 2006)
Merck Company, Inc. (“Merck”) sought interlocutory appeal and a writ of mandamus in response to the district court’s ruling on Merck’s attorney-client privilege claim as to certain documents sought in connection with Vioxx Products Liability multi-district litigation (“MDL”). Timely resolution of the privilege claim was deemed crucial to many of the thousands of cases included in the MDL. Although the Fifth Circuit found that it did not have appellate jurisdiction, it did order the re-examination of documents.