A federal judge in Trenton will be handling all lawsuits filed by Merck & Co. shareholders stemming from the recall of the company’s blockbuster arthritis drug Vioxx, a judicial panel has ruled.

The Whitehouse Station-based company, and some of those suing Merck, sought to have the cases consolidated in New Jersey, according to the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Its order Wednesday grouped about 20 federal cases that had been filed in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Louisiana.