The first slated trial of a wrongful death suit against Merck & Co. over its painkiller Vioxx has been postponed at the urging of a federal judge.

Paul Sizemore, a plaintiff’s lawyer in the Alabama case that was set for May 23, said U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon asked his firm to postpone the case so it wouldn’t interfere with federal litigation. Sizemore’s firm and Merck & Co. complied.