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More than a year after losing the first trial over its withdrawn painkiller Vioxx, drugmaker Merck & Co. is appealing the $253.4 million awarded by a Texas jury.

Merck has filed a notice of appeal in Texas state court in the case of Robert Ernst, who died in May 2001, according to a brief notice posted late Wednesday on the company’s Web site. The appeal was filed Sept. 18, according to a company spokeswoman.

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