Walter Olson: Sued for a Study


Keith Burtis

A plaintiff's lawyer is suing a medical journal and two doctors because they published a case report that makes it harder to win birth-injury lawsuits. A Boston lawyer who claims to have debunked the case study has sued its two authors and the journal's publisher for publishing and refusing to retract the article. A trial court dismissed the case, writes Walter Olson, but it's now on appeal, with defense lawyers arguing that if there are weaknesses in the article the remedy for plaintiffs is to introduce evidence to that effect to counter it in trials. To instead penalize the paper's publisher and author, they note, would violate the First Amendment.