The New Jersey jury awarded $9.0 Million in punitive damages.
Perfect. Within the range of reason. Merck will suffer the sting of the shilling but not be able to argue that it took a head shot. Recall that punitives were capped at $22.5M.
BIG NEWS: Under New Jersey law when a plaintiff receives a punitive damage award the judge must refer the case to the prosecutor’s office for an investigation to determine if criminal charges are warranted.
The statute: 2A:15-5.17. Record referred for criminal investigation. Upon the conclusion of any action in which punitive damages have been awarded, the court shall refer the record of that action to the prosecutor of the county in which the case was tried and to the Attorney General for investigation as to whether a criminal act has been committed by the defendant.