The $4.85 billion Vioxx settlement announced last week is bolstering hopes of another set of plaintiffs: investors and employees who filed securities, derivative and ERISA suits against the company.

Plaintiffs in 10 cases, consolidated in New Jersey’s federal district court, claim they were financially harmed by Merck & Co.’s marketing of a dangerous drug, and their attorneys say the product liability settlement shows the damages were high.

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