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The Future of Technology Management and the Business Environment: Lessons on Innovation, Disruption, and Strategy Execution by Alfred A. Marcus

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5. Laws of Liability

This chapter discusses the introduction of the painkiller Vioxx by Merck and the introduction of an alternative hip replacement by Johnson & Johnson (J&J). Both companies had impeccable reputations, but they did not handle these products’ dangers to patients well. These cases led to large liabilities that were avoidable had the two firms taken the early warnings seriously. The chapter concludes with a primer on liability law. Liability law is meant to compensate victims for the harm companies cause in introducing new technologies and to deter companies from irresponsibly putting innocent people at risk by not warning them of foreseeable dangers.

Vioxx: What Went Wrong?

On September 30, 2004, Merck had to pull its $2.5 billion ...

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