12A | LAREDO MORNING TIMES FRIDAY, JULY 15, 2005
October 9, 1917
DENNIS M. GAMBOA
July 10, 2005
Nation’s first Vioxx trial begins
Minas de Santo Tomas, Texas Laredo, Texas By KRISTEN HAYS is the first of more than 3,800
ASSOCIATED PRESS state and federal lawsuits pending
Dennis M. Gamboa, 87, was at 10 a.m. against New Jersey-based Merck.
called to be with the Lord on July Interment followed in the ANGLETON, Texas — Merck & Kiernan said the terms ar-
10, 2005. family plot of the Calvary Co. traded its mission of healing rhythmia and heart attack are not
A rosary was recited by Catholic Cemetery. and treating sickness for relent- interchangeable, and Vioxx “had
Msgr. Tom Davis on Wednes- Pallbearers were Jose Eduar- less marketing and pursuit of nothing to do with Mr. Ernst’s
day July 13, 2005, at 7 p.m. in do Molina, Javier Eustolio Moli- profits, a plaintiff’s lawyer in the death. It was not a heart attack. Be
the Hillside Funeral Home na, Marcelo Gamboa, Oscar R. nation’s first Vioxx-related law- wary of the attempts to blur the
chapel. Visitation was from 4 Martinez, Joseph W. Silva, Gon- suit to go to trial told jurors distinction between the two.”
to 9 p.m. zalo Benavides, Leopoldo Thursday. Lanier said he aims to show a
Funeral services were held Medrano and John Orfila, Jr.; Mark Lanier, representing heart attack causes arrhythmia,
Thursday, July 14, 2005, at honorary pallbearers were widow Carol Ernst, displayed the and Ernst’s sudden death left no
9:30 a.m. from Hillside Funer- Gilberto Martinez, John Orfila phrase “Merck-y ethics” on a time for any heart damage to
al H ome to St. Patri ck’s Sr., James H. Richardson, Carlos large screen and promised to show.
Church. Mass was celebrated Perez, Guillermo Silva, Roberto skewer the judgment of a compa- The trial is expected to last five
Silva and Javier Martinez Sr. ny he said knew the popular weeks.
Special thanks to Dr. Ricardo painkiller could be dangerous About 20 million people took
Cigarroa and Dr. Jose R. Garcia, years before a study showed it the anti-inflammatory drug pre-
the personnel from the emer- could double risk of heart attack scribed for arthritis and acute
gency room at Laredo Medical or stroke. That study prompted Photo by Pat Sullivan | AP pain since it came on the market
Center and Nurses from the Merck to voluntarily remove it Carol Ernst, right, and her daughter Shawna Sherrill, left, sit in the courtroom Thurs- in 1999. In 2000, a study found
Heart. from the market last year. day in Angleton,Texas. Ernst’s case against Vioxx maker Merck Co. is the first of more that some Vioxx users suffered
Arrangements were under In a much more subdued pres- than 3,000 suits to go to trial. five times as many heart attacks
the direction of Hillside Funeral entation, Merck lawyer David as users of the older painkiller
Home, 310 Hillside Road. Kiernan, who is also a surgeon, half the potentially lethal stom- n’t fill up the ATM machine for us, naproxen, sold under the brand
urged jurors to keep an open ach bleeding that some patients we’re running dry. It’s Vioxx or name Aleve.
mind as Merck seeks to show the got from traditional pain relievers bust.” In 2002, the FDA added warn-
company didn’t rush a lucrative like aspirin. He said the company down- ings to Vioxx’s label. Continued
drug to market and slip shoddy Vioxx was tested in 58 clinical played studies that raised con- research showed Vioxx doubled
science past the U.S. Food and trials involving 10,000 patients cerns about Vioxx’s safety and the risk of heart attack or stroke if
Drug Administration to pump up before it went on the market, he pushed the painkiller to a grow- taken for 18 months or longer,
profits. said, far surpassing FDA testing ing market of arthritis sufferers which prompted Merck to pull the
“That charge could not be recommendations. and their doctors to keep the bot- drug.
PETRONILA A. HERNANDEZ more false,” he said. Buffeted by photos, graphics tom line robust. Lanier complained that some
Ernst’s husband, Robert, a per- and documents shown on a large “You watch what happens to Angleton residents had received
Mrs. Petronila A. Hernandez, (Rosa) Hernandez and Lucia sonal trainer, died in his sleep screen behind him, Lanier said their studies. It will make you phone calls from pollsters claim-
beloved daughter, wife, mother, (Victor) Garcia. four years ago of an arrhythmia, former Merck CEO Ray sick,” Lanier said. ing to be Merck representatives
sister, grandmother and great- She is also survived by broth- or irregular heartbeat. He had Gilmartin aimed to turn Merck He said Merck wined and asking if they had heard of the
grandmother, joined our Lord ers, Cayetano (Altagracia) Her- been taking Vioxx for about eight into “an ATM machine that’s spit- dined Robert Ernst’s doctor, Brent case and whether Carol Ernst de-
in heaven Wednesday, July 13, nandez and Guadalupe (Eloisa) months to ease pain in his hands. ting out money” by beefing up Wallace, and targeted him and served any money.
2005, at the age of 70. Hernandez; seven grandchil- Lawyers from throughout the sales with glitzy television ads for many other doctors in a plan to “The hypocrisy of this makes
She will be greatly missed by dren, and four great-grandchil- country associated with other various drugs — including Vioxx, push them to prescribe Vioxx. He me want to puke,” Lanier told re-
all whose lives she touched. dren. Vioxx lawsuits packed the court- which came on the market in said the company paid doctors to porters.
She was preceded in death A rosary will be recited by room for hours of opening state- 1999. let Merck sales representatives Jonathan Skidmore, a Merck
by her parents, Juan Hernandez Deacon Anastacio Bernal at 7 ments — more than two hours af- Vioxx was critical to Merck, watch them write those prescrip- attorneys, said Merck wasn’t in-
and Manuela Delgado; daugh- p.m. Friday, July 15, 2005, at forded each side. Lanier alleged, because patents tions. volved in any polling and wanted
ter, San Juanita Hernandez; Joe Jackson Heights Funeral Kiernan said Vioxx has been in on other lucrative drugs ran out in The case in Angleton, a town to get to the bottom of the issue as
brother, Pablo Hernandez and Chapels, 719 Loring at Cortez. development since 1991 and cut in 2000 and 2001 and “if Vioxx does- about 40 miles south of Houston, much as Lanier.
sister, Concepcion H. Esparza Visitation will be from 5 to 9
and other immediate family p.m.
Mrs. Hernandez is survived
by her loving husband, Bern-
Funeral services will be Sat-
urday, July 16, 2005, at 8:10 a.m.
from Joe Jackson Heights Fu-
Texas National Guard helps boy get surgery
abe Hernandez; and children, neral Chapels to Our Lady of
Raul (Marina) Hernandez, Ele- Guadalupe Catholic Church for By JUAN A. LOZANO attention of soldiers with the 56th by Texas Children’s Hospital and did. We had a great day (Wednes-
na (Pedro) Sauceda, Roberto a holy Mass officiated by Father ASSOCIATED PRESS Brigade Combat Team, 36th In- the Texas Army National Guard day) after we learned” the sur-
Moose Hernandez, Santos Vrazel at 8:30 a.m. fantry Division of the Texas Na- because they feared pictures of gery was successful.
Interment will be held at the HOUSTON — The father of a 7- tional Guard when he was brought the boy and his father might easi- Dr. Charles Fraser Jr. said Kad-
family plot in the Catholic year-old Iraqi boy Thursday nerv- for treatment at the hospital at ly identify them as targets for vio- hem would still have to be seen by
Cemetery. ously thanked the Texas soldiers Tallil Air Force Base near lence when they return to Iraq in a cardiologist in the future to eval-
The family encourages you who helped his son come to Hous- Nasiriyah. about a month. uate his progress. But Kadhem
to sign the guest book online at ton for a lifesaving operation. The soldiers were able to But Jawad Kathem told the AP would have much more energy
www.joejacksonheights.com. “I am very grateful to every- arrange for military transporta- how he had struggled for months and he would be able to do things
Arrangements are under the body, to the American troops back tion out of Iraq and sought private to obtain a visa from the U.S. em- other children could do. His sur-
direction of Joe Jackson Heights in Iraq, to all Houstonians and I’m and corporate donations to pay bassy in Kuwait while his son be- gery was designed to minimize the
Funeral Chapels, 719 Loring at very grateful to the doctors who for Kadhem’s hospital, travel and came weaker, unable to walk and need for more operations, he said.
Cortez. did the surgery” this week, Jawad other expenses. barely able to breathe. Fraser said he would not forget
Kathem, a 33-year-old mechanic The boy and his father arrived Meanwhile, the soldiers with talking to Kadhem’s father after
from southern Iraq, said in Arabic. in Houston last week. Kadhem un- the Texas Army National Guard in he told him the surgery was suc-
He spoke to The Associated Press derwent five-hour open heart sur- Iraq raised money to help send cessful.
through a translator. gery on Tuesday at Texas Chil- Kadhem to Houston so he could “I don’t know if I’ve ever had a
His son, Kadhem, began suf- dren’s Hospital, the nation’s be treated at Texas Children’s. thank you like I had from this fa-
fering from a congenital heart de- largest pediatric hospital. Army officials did not wish to ther. He grabbed me by the face,
fect about eight months ago. The By Thursday, Kadhem was identify the various donors who he kissed me all over the face, he
abnormality was obstructing alert, eating and recovering in the helped Kadhem or how much kissed my hands and he fell down
MARIA LUISA MARTINEZ blood flow to the lungs, prevent- intensive care unit, his father said. money was raised. on the floor and kissed my feet,”
ing his blood from being oxy- “Today is a very happy day,” “All of us have children,” Lt. he said. “I’ve never had such a
Mrs. Maria Luisa Martinez, Gilberto Martinez. She is also genated and turning his skin a said Jawad Kathem. Kadhem’s Col. Stephen Bentley, with the thing happen.”
beloved mother, grandmother survived by 16 grandchildren, blueish hue. If the defect were not younger brother and two sisters 56th Brigade Combat Team, said Jawad Kathem said he plans to
and great-grandmother, went to 12 great-grandchildren and her repaired, Kadhem might have stayed with their mother in Iraq. by telephone from Iraq during the throw a big party for his family and
be with our Lord on Tuesday, sister, Paz Ramirez. died by his teen years. Jawad Kathem did not attend a news conference. “It is very satis- the U.S. soldiers who helped him
July 12, 2005, at the age of 82. Mrs. Martinez will be greatly The boy’s condition came to the news conference held Thursday fying we were able to do what we when he and his son return to Iraq.
She was preceded in death missed by all her family and
by her parents, Magdaleno friends.
Ramirez and Maria Damian.
Mrs. Martinez is survived by
her husband, Trinidad Mar-
A rosary will be recited at 7
p.m. Friday, July 15, 2005, at Joe
Jackson Springfield Chapels,
Rehnquist will stay as Supreme Court head
tinez and her children, Carlos 1900 Springfield. Visitation will
Martinez, Ma. Guadalupe Ser- be from 5 to 9 p.m. By RON FOURNIER “I’m confident the chief justice
na, Jesus (Ana Maria) Mar- Funeral services will be Sat- and GINA HOLLAND would not come to this decision
tinez, Imelda (Roberto) Ochoa, urday, July 16, 2005, at 8:10 a.m. ASSOCIATED PRESS unless he was convinced he could
Juanita (Eduardo) Castillo, from Joe Jackson Springfield lead the court in the dignified and
Ernestina (Abel) Hernandez, Chapel to San Luis Rey Catholic WASHINGTON — Squelching efficient manner he has been.”
Raul (Cindy) Martinez, Church for a holy Mass at 8:30 rumors of his retirement, Chief Medical experts initially spec-
Trinidad Martinez Jr., and a.m. Justice William H. Rehnquist said ulated that Rehnquist probably
Interment will be held at the Thursday he will continue head- had the deadly anaplastic form of
family plot in the Calvary ing the Supreme Court despite his thyroid cancer, based on the
Catholic Cemetery. battle with thyroid cancer. chemotherapy-radiation treat-
The family encourages you “I’m not about to announce my ment. But now that seems less
to sign the guest book online at retirement,” he said in a statement likely.
www.joejacksonheights.com. obtained by The Associated Press. “The prognosis for that is so
Arrangements are under the “I want to put to rest the spec- poor. Most patients succumb very
direction of Joe Jackson Spring- ulation and unfounded rumors of quickly, within three to six
field Chapels, 1900 Springfield. my imminent retirement,” said months,” said Dr. Mark Urken, a
Rehnquist, 80. “I will continue to cancer expert at Beth Israel Hos-
perform my duties as chief jus- pital in New York.
tice as long as my health permits.” It is more likely that Rehnquist
Rehnquist issued the state- has another more treatable type,
ment hours after being released
REHNQUIST said Urken and other physicians
from an Arlington, Va., hospital sified after Rehnquist was hospi- But outside of a handful of not involved in his treatment.
after being treated for two days talized. The White House was pro- brief statements issued by the Dr. Kenneth Burman, a thyroid
with a fever. ceeding with contingency plans to court since October, Rehnquist specialist at Washington Hospital
President Bush had not been fill two vacancies, a prospect that has said nothing publicly about Center, said other possibilities are
DON PEDRO A. MONCADA informed in advance about Rehn- might have given Bush the political his condition or prognosis. He had papillary thyroid cancer or lym-
January 18, 1910 July 14, 2005 quist’ statement but the White flexibility to please more than one also said nothing about his plans phoma of the thyroid. People with
Sandia El Grande, Nuevo Leon Laredo, Texas House welcomed the chief jus- constituency. Now that just one on the bench despite the vigil kept those types can be treated and live
tice’s announcement. seat is vacant, Bush is likely to by reporters and photographers for years without more problems.
Don Pedro Alvarado Monca- “The chief justice is doing an come under intense pressure from outside his home. Before Thursday evening,
da, 95, passed away Thursday, outstanding job, and we are his political base to nominate a “I think this is going to put the Rehnquist had said nothing in
July 14, 2005, in Laredo. pleased he will continue his great hard-line conservative. speculation to rest,” said Edward public about his future until last
Funeral services are pend- service to the nation,” presidential Still, this is the first vacancy of Lazarus, a Los Angeles attorney week, when a reporter called out
ing with Hillside Funeral spokesman Scott McClellan said. Bush’s presidency, and even one and former Supreme Court clerk. to him outside his house to re-
Home. For information please His declaration scrambles an new justice to the court has the “He’s saying, ‘I’m here and I’m not spond to retirement rumors.
call (956) 724-6060. unsettled situation on the high potential to tip the balance on crit- going anywhere.” “That’s for me to know and you to
court for the second time in less ical issues such as abortion, affir- Rehnquist gave no clue how find out,” Rehnquist replied.
than two weeks. Justice Sandra mative action and gay rights. long he’ll remain on the bench, Unless another justice unex-
Day O’Connor unexpectedly Rehnquist, who has been but observers said that’s not un- pectedly retires, Rehnquist’s an-
stepped down earlier this month through at least one round of usual because justices rarely tip nouncement removes the imme-
at a time when the White House, chemotherapy and radiation, sur- their hand. diate possibility of a double
the Senate and outside groups had prised many people when he “This should allow the chief vacancy, which could have
been preparing for the chief jus- presided at Bush’s inauguration in and the court to get on with their changed Bush’s thinking in nom-
tice to leave the court. January and returned to the bench business,” said Richard Garnett, a inating someone to fill O’Connor’s
Rumors of his departure inten- in March, keeping a full schedule. former law clerk under Rehnquist. seat.