thelastpsychiatrist.com - $51M Vioxx Verdict Overturned. Adnotated.
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 the $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?i
negligent= "careless in not fulfilling responsibility" (from law.com)iii. 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 damageiv
- This'd be the fundamental problem with laymen trying their hand at professional fields : they don't understand the meanings of terms. Apparently there can quite be such a thing as "negligence without fault". What now ? [↩]
- Strict liability is not liability in general. One not being strictly liable does not automatically mean one isn't liable in the general, and it implies relatively little about negligence -- in point of fact the concepts overlap poorly. Let's look at it in some detail.
Suppose the law says that
"[to protect the blabla] and with a view to the welfare of 15 yo girls, anyone found in a room with a 15yo girl wearing any kind of clothing will be fined $100"
This law as stated contemplates strict liability : meet the conditions, suffer the penalty.
Leaving aside how intolerably insane such constructions are, it still stands that any person found as described will be fined -- such as the sleeping family some dressed 15yo cat burglar home-invaded ; such as the restrained Abu Ghraib victim of the USG criminal gang across the room from a dressed 15yo Lynndie England ; etcetera. A whole lot more will be indicted -- such as the responsible fellow who is whipping a restrained but otherwise nude 15yo (in the opinion of the arresting officer, ankle leather straps constitute "any kind of clothing"), such as the indolent fellow who, too lazy to interact with the naked 15yo seated at the kitchen table, is unfurling a length of tin foil to safely fridge a plate of pasta with white sauce in such a way as to obstruct the seated girl's tit from the view of a law enforcement drone passing by the window ; and so following.
If there's a rule proposing that one's not to obstruct the view of law enforcement drones, the fellow with his plate of pasta may well be negligent ; but the jury must (not may, must) still find him not strictly liable for the $100 fine, because the legal conditions were not met. The jury must (not may, must) also find the sleeping couple liable, even though they may well find them not negligent! And so, on and on in this vein, isn't "common law" a wunderbar pile of useless nonsense! [↩]
- That's an utterly shitty with twinges of horrifyingly bad definition.
Negligence as the legal concept is the deed or omission which a) goes contrary to the views of a "responsible"-yet-"average" person in the locale, and which b) conceivably results, while the alternative conceivably would not have resulted c) in an actionable harm.
Those are the three elements of negligence : first, "something bad" must-possibly-happen "because" that could-have-not-happened-otherwise ; then that something bad must happen in such a way as the courts are inclined to remedy (a spy leaving the toilet seat up in an enemy base is still not negligent -- because the enemy cunt sitting down on the bare bowl is still an enemy, and thus can't plea for redress through the court) ; and then finally an alternative course must've been available.
Then from there, together with "did anything bad actually happen" and "did the negligent party actually have a duty towards the sufferer of whatever ill effect" liability is constructed, but only after, of course, the whole matter's been strained through the degree-of-magnitude cheaper filter of strict liability, because that's why that insanity exists in the first place : the tort view of the world that common law tradition ended up forcing upon the world is simply untenable. "Strict liability" is a hack atop a dysfunctional tower of chairs, a long-overgrown attempt to plug the wrong end of a funnel resulting in geometric increase of complexity on the backend as a result of linear increase in complexity on the business end. [↩]
- The original actually ends like this, midsentence and without even a punctuation mark. What can I do ? [↩]