After losing billions in market capitalization when news of potential lawsuits emerged, Merck seems to have been largely vindicated
in the courts after a pair of appellate decisions gutted lower court rulings for plaintiffs.
is a "reality check" on the tort bar, as the WSJ op-ed describes, it doesn't necessarily mean that justice was
A handful of plaintiffs file suit and investors lose billions. Merck pulled the drug from the market
and thousands of employees lost their jobs. Thousands more patients who relied on the drug for pain relief were forced
to go elsewhere. And now, roughly four years later, the courts demonstrate that there never was anything wrong with
the drug to begin with.
Vince Polley's latest edition of MIRLIN
, (miscellaneous IT-related legal news), is now live.
An insightful piece
in today's WSJ asks whether the collaborative power of wikis can transform government.
One of the most
frustrating experiences in dealing with government is finding helpful information.
Government websites have a tendency
to organize information by the program (or statute) that authorize an expenditure. So, for example, the Department of
Health and Human Services has its own online media guide
for disasters and emergencies while the Federal Emergency Management Agency has its own counterpart "news media"
. I can understand how federal government employees might be required to organize their websites this way, but how does
this organization create value for citizens? If a disaster victim wanted to find relevant information about assistance
available from the federal government, which website should she visit first?
Undoubtedly it would take an
Act of Congress to replace both websites (each on its own domain of course) to a single, threaded discussion on "emergencies management
" as Wikipedia has done.
But the Web doesn't need to wait for an Act of Congress. Why not
simply organize a wiki with the organizing principle of organizing information about government in a manner that brings
together data regarding disparate agencies and programs as that data would be needed by citizens?