Merck & Co. said Friday it will $800 million to settle a class action lawsuit, related to the drug maker's illegal promotion of its former painkiller Vioxx. Investors who bought Merck securities between May 21, 1999 and Oct. 29, 2004 were seeking damages for certain statements Merck made regarding Vioxx. Under the settlement agreement, in which Merck does not admit any liability or wrongdoing, Merck will also pay an additional amount to pay for attorney's fees and expenses. The company will record a $680 million charge in the fourth quarter. In November 2011, Merck agreed to pay $950 million and plead guilty to criminal misdemeanor charge to resolve government allegations that Merck illegally promoted Vioxx and was deceptive about the drug's safety. The stock, which slumped 1.5% in premarket trade, has gained 2.1% over the past three months through Thursday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 4.5%.
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