US drugs giant Merck is vowing to fight a potential wave of thousands of lawsuits over the painkiller Vioxx, once taken by 20 million people.
A widow in Texas won $253.4m (£141.07m) damages after a jury accepted that her husband had been killed by the drug.
The verdict could clear the way for some 4,200 other cases involving Vioxx, which raises the risk of heart attacks or strokes if taken for a long period.
Merck denies responsibility and says it will appeal against the Texas ruling.
Thousands dead from government sponsored poison? At least we can take comfort in the fact that they died without their lips ever having touched the Evil Weed with Roots in Hell.