The once-popular painkiller Vioxx doubled the risk of heart attack and was unfit for consumption, an Australian court ruled Friday, awarding a man leading a class action suit against the drug’s maker 287,000 Australian dollars ($259,000) in compensation.

Melbourne Federal Court Judge Christopher Jessup’s decision opens the door for claims from 600 other litigants in a lawsuit against U.S. pharmaceutical firm Merck & Co. over its since-recalled drug Vioxx. The painkiller was taken off the global market in 2004 after research showed it raised the risk of heart attacks and strokes.