The New Drug Recall LawyersWritten by Richard Martin
Given monstrous size and profitability of drug companies, some plaintiff lawyers are considering focusing more of their practice on drug litigation. In fact, shortly after Merck's announcement of Vioxx recall, some large plaintiff firms started aggressive media campaigns aimed at bringing in prescription drug injury victims. The media blitz has been non stop. Billboards, TV, web marketing, radio, and direct mail are just some of marketing vehicles that attorneys have used to try and find new cases for them to work on. Many plaintiff law firms are no longer focusing on chasing run of mill car accidents. Some of them have gone so far as to reposition themselves as “drug recall lawyers,” seeing that future of their practice may be shaped by initial outcome of these new pharmaceutical cases. When Merck chose to withdraw Vioxx, CEO stated that a voluntary recall was responsible course of action. Prior to pulling Vioxx from market, Merck was spending $500 Million per year on advertising Vioxx. Vioxx is classified as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID. However, Vioxx belongs to a new family of NSAIDs called “COX-2 inhibitors.” There are not many COX-2 inhibitors on market in US: Bextra and Celebrex may be only other two.
The Polygraph As A Truth DetectorWritten by William Trevino
The polygraph as a truth detector
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association believes that there is convincing evidence to suggest that use of polygraph is arbitrary, subjective, biased toward accusations of guilt and claims of very high validity are scientifically indefensible. However, even if one is not willing to be persuaded by evidence on these matters, one must admit, at very least, that there is no scientific opinion whatsoever concerning validity of polygraph testing. In fact, there is extremely wide divergence over validity of test.
In these circumstances, onus is clearly on proponents of polygraph test to establish a convincing scientific case for claims of high validity that are made by polygraph operators. In other words, burden of proof rests with lie detector industry to satisfy scientific community and legislators that there is convincing evidence to support claims of ninety percent or greater accuracy that are commonly made by polygraph operators. Without such agreement, it seems utterly irresponsible to allow use of such a device in situations where it may ultimately interfere with liberty of innocent citizens.
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association urges Government of British Columbia to follow example of Ontario in banning mandatory use of polygraphs by employers in province. We would go further: since evidence we have presented throws considerable shadows of doubt on usefulness of polygraph test per se, we see no useful purpose for procedure as either screening procedure for police candidates, or in court system generally, both of which are uses allowed by Ontario, though there is no convincing evidence in support of test in any situation. Ontario's compendium of information, including Morand Report, in their 1983 amendment to their Employment Standards Act leads one to conclusions very similar to B.C. Civil Liberties Association's: polygraph test is a humbug of subjective, arbitrary and contradictory procedures that does not detect lies or guilt any more effectively, and in many cases not as well (because of procedural and machine bias), as interviews and cross examination that are already common tools of psychology, police work and courts. The compounded danger in instances of polygraphs lies in sanctioned role that untrained persons with crude devices play in harrying innocent persons in commercial and legal settings. To paraphrase an expert, it is idiocy of idiocies. We urge its removal as an avenue of arbitrary persecution.