(MIS)QUOTED IN THE ECONOMIST . . . Thanks to the reader who emailed me the news that The Economist quoted me in "The lessons of Merck's bad day in court" (August 27 print edition).
Although not available online, here's the paragraph in which I was quoted:
Mark Lanier, the plaintiff's lawyer, made much of Merck's allegedly deliberate economy with the truth, and played on the current public hostility towards the drug industry to win his case. This was despite the lack of any scientific evidence that Vioxx actually killed Mr Ernst. Evan Schaeffer, another personal injury lawyer, says that it had been widely assumed this lack of evidence made the case "unwinnable for the plaintiffs".
I've been interviewed by The Economist before, but not about Vioxx, so I assume the writer was quoting a Vioxx post where I wrote as follows:
One important thing to take away from today's verdict, even though it will presumably be reduced by virtue of the Texas law on punitive damages, is that this was a case perceived to have causation problems that made it virtually unwinnable for the plaintiffs.
The quote in The Economist implies that I thought the plaintiff's case in Ernst v. Merck lacked causation evidence. In fact, I only said that this was the perception, largely because it's what Merck told the press. My views about the plaintiff's scientific evidence were directly the opposite, as I said in my post "Vioxx and Arrhythmias."