August 30, 2006

$51M Vioxx Verdict Overturned

Judge Fallon decides that the jury's $50M award is a bit much for a heart attack in which the guy is still alive and well.  He leaves in place $1M punitive damage award.  (The $50M was compensatory damage.)

I also refer you to the PointofLaw blog, in which is observed the inconsistency of the jury's verdict: no,  they aren't strictly liable for failing to warn about and causing the MI; and yes, they were negligent in failing to warn and causing the MI.   How can you be negligent if you weren't liable?



negligent= "careless in not fulfilling responsibility" (from  There was a duty toward the person AND you didn't do what a reasonable person would have done AND what you did actually caused the damage


"strictly liable" is a lega... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2006 10:58 PM | Posted by CF: | Reply

"strictly liable" is a legal term of art. It means that injuries sustained during certain activities are ALWAYS compensible NO MATTER how careful the actor was being. In order to recover, the injured party need only show he was injured by the activity. Compare this to "negligence", which requires the injuried party to show not only that he was injured by the activity, but also that the activity was done "carelessly" or (in the case of medical malpractice) the activity failed to conform to the prevailing standards of practice.

The classic example of "strict liability" is for injuries sustained by explosives, such as those used in demolition. A party injured by an explosive does not have to show that the party using the explosive was careless or otherwise failed to conform with standard explosive guidelines. Rather, the defendant is "strictly liable" for any and all injuries, no matter what the circumstances, arising from the explosives activities.


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