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To those tracking the first product liability trial accusing Merck’s osteoporosis drug Fosamax of causing debilitating jaw bone deterioration, it should come as no surprise that a mistrial was declared on Friday. But the lead plaintiffs lawyer’s view of the eight-member jury’s failure to reach a verdict may be a bit more eyebrow-raising.

Last Wednesday, after one holdout juror complained of physical threats, Manhattan federal district court Judge John Keenan called for a daylong “cooling off period” to ease tensions in the jury room. But the day off on Thursday brought the jury no closer to agreement, according to lead plaintiffs counsel Timothy O’Brien of Levin Papantonio Thomas Mitchell Echsner & Proctor.

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