Appeals courts in Texas and New Jersey reversed $40-million in decisions against Merck & Co. in connection with Vioxx-related cases. In Texas, the appellate court reversed the jury's verdict that found Merck's painkiller responsible for the death of Robert Ernst, the Vioxx claim to go to court. In New Jersey, the higher court overturned $9-million in punitive damages against Merck, although it let stand $4.5-million in compensatory damages in the 2006 case involving John McDarby. Merck, which pulled Vioxx from the market in September 2004, has agreed to pay $4.85-billion to settle outstanding personal injury claims involving Vioxx. About 45,000 claimants have signed up for the settlement.