We won’t settle, we’ll fight on. That is the defiant reaction from Merck after a court in Texas found the US pharmaceutical giant liable for the death of man who took an apparently faulty drug. Carol Ernst was awarded more than 250 million dollars in damages – that is around 208 million euros – for the loss of her husband Robert. “I hope this will be a wake-up call for all the pharmaceutical companies that not only physicians but also individual consumers have the right to know what the risks are when you take a drug,” she said after the verdict.The court rejected Merck’s argument that Ernst had died of clogged arteries, ruling his heart attack had been induced by the painkiller Vioxx. Merck withdrew the drug last year amid health concerns. However the company insists there is no reliable scientific evidence Vioxx caused Ernst’s death. It is appealing the verdict and intends to fight similar cases coming to trial.