Merck & Co had cause for celebration ahead of its fourth-quarter results, due out later today, after it won a lawsuit brought by a Texas man who said the firm’s withdrawn painkiller Vioxx was responsible for abdominal pain and gastric bleeding.

The judge presiding over the case in a New Jersey court said that the plaintiff had failed to prove that his injuries were caused by Vioxx (rofecoxib), which was taken off the market in 2004 after it was linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Merck is till facing thousands of lawsuits brought by patients who claim Vioxx caused them harm, but so far has won two of the four cases that have come to trial, and lost another in which the plaintiff was awarded damages of $253 million (cut to $26 million under state capping laws).

The other case ended in a mistrial and is due to be heard on February 6 in New Orleans.