Sunday Spoof – Merck and Hurricanes

A spokesman for Merck announced today that its scientists have discovered a link between between recent hurricane activity in the Gulf of Mexico and the lawyers that are suing the company over its multi-billion dollar drug, Vioxx.

“The scientists have Merck have determined that greedy trial lawyers are the cause of Katrina and Rita,” Merck spokesman Phillip (“Flip”) Glanton said in a press conference earlier today. “Congress must act immediately to stop greedy trial lawyers from filing frivilous lawsuits before the entire Gulf Coast is destroyed.”

When pressed to explain the link between well-known Acts of God that have existed for centuries and trial lawyers, Glanton handed out a 215-page, single-spaced document that he said was prepared by Merck’s best scientists. “Our team of scientists has found that a Category 4 hurricane did not hit New Orleans until after the Vioxx litigation was consolidated in the federal courts in New Orleans. Greedy trial lawyers filed the Vioxx lawsuits, and therefore they are the cause of Katrina. It is a scientific fact.”

When asked how greedy trial lawyers caused Rita, Glanton pointed to the findings on page 134 of the report. “It is obvious. The Vioxx litigation was moved from New Orleans to Houston. Less than three weeks later, Houston suffered effects of Rita. Therefore, greedy trial lawyers caused Rita.”

Glanton was then asked about rumors that the Vioxx litigation was going to be moved to the federal courts in Minneapolis. Merck’s spokesman acknowledged that Merck scientists have already modeled that senario. “We predict that if greedy trial lawyers manage to get the Vioxx litigation moved to the Twin Cities Hurricane Zella will strike within two weeks.” Glanton was ready for the inevitable question of how a hurricane could damage a city over 900 miles from the Gulf. “Our research shows that the Mississippi River is capable of sustaining a hurricane all the way up to Minnesota.” When a reporter commented that such a hurricane would put tort hell-hole Madison County, IL in harm’s way, Glanton remarked “As they say, every cloud has a silver lining.”

Merck’s scientific team has concluded that the only way to prevent hurricanes is for Congress to eliminate the right to sue Merck for any Vioxx-related claim. Congressman DeLay has agreed to sponsor this bill in the House, and Senator Frist will sponsor it in the Senate.

Congressman DeLay could not be reached for comment; he was in Texas making sure that his pet rat collection was not lost in flooding caused by Rita.

Senator Frist had this to say about the legislation: “Hurricanes are a threat to our national security and therefore they must be eliminated. My background in science taught me that hurricanes are fueled by warm air, and greedy trial lawyers put off more hot air than any profession. They must be stopped.”

Frist then turned to a man wearing a suit, dark glasses, and accompanied by a seeing eye dog and said in a low voice “Buy Merck stock now.” An aide to the Majority Leader later confirmed that the man was Marc Shapiro, a financial advisor to the Senator. “Senator Frist has never said that his assets were in a blind trust. He has consistently maintained that his assets were managed by a blind trustee. Any attempt to say otherwise is false.”

President Bush was vacationing and could not be reached for comment on the proposed legislation.

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