Did Lawyer’s E-Mail Goof Land $1B Settlement on NYT’s Front Page?

By Debra Cassens Weiss

An outside lawyer for Eli Lilly & Co. apparently has two people named “Berenson” in her e-mail address book. One is a reporter for the New York Times and the other is her co-counsel assisting in confidential negotiations on a possible $1 billion settlement between the pharmaceutical company and the government.

The question is whether her e-mail to the wrong Berenson spurred last week’s front-page New York Times story revealing talks to resolve criminal and civil investigations into the company’s marketing of the anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa, as Portfolio.com reports.

The unidentified lawyer who wrote the e-mail works at Pepper Hamilton in Philadelphia, the story says. She was trying to e-mail Bradford Berenson of Sidley Austin rather than Times reporter Alex Berenson.

The Drug and Device Law blog contacted Berenson, the reporter, who said he did receive an e-mail, but it did not contain a detailed description of the status of the settlement talks. Berenson told the blog he got his information from other sources.

For more see ABA.com.

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