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Vioxx and the jury system

Evan Schaeffer has posted his defense of the jury's decision in the first Vioxx trial:

That was the promise of Vioxx, but it wasn’t to be. And now, as a result, a very small minority of commentators are calling for tort immunity for drug companies and discussing reforms to the jury system that would benefit drug companies. I think these ideas are radical and unnecessary. The tort system and the jury system may not be perfect, but they are certainly better than any of the alternatives, especially those involving granting favors to drug companies that might lead to even greater health risks.


I am Melkor! You cannot hide your city forever!!!! I will destroy you and your little city too!!!!!!!!(extra !'s added for scaryness!!!)

Seriously though, I disagree with Evan's statement that "The tort system and the jury system may not be perfect, but they are certainly better than any of the alternatives...". There really needs to be a standard value for things like human life, animal life, pain and suffering, and paying the other guy's lawyer bill.

Sounds crass, but $253 mil! It would be quite easy to destroy most corporations (where most of us work) with just one or two verdicts like that. To be fair, I dont know the merits of the case (his post was very long:) ), but... $253 mil!

The $253 million verdict included $229 million in punitive damages; the $229 million in punitives was reduced to $1.6 million after applying Texas law on punitive damages.

Is Celebrex bad, too?

Well that is good news I guess Evan, but don't you agree that some kind of standard still needs to be applied?

I remember in the 1980's in Matagorda county, TX, a jury awarded a guy $8 million because someone killed his "super" bull. I think it had good genes or something, but can't find any reference to it on the web. That is unacceptable, even if the guy tortured the cow or something.

W/o a reference, I'm inclined to file that bull case in the "urban legends" drawer

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