More On

Expanded version: Metadata raises legal risks

Lawyers who receive inadvertently disclosed hidden data face ethical questions.

Read this article as it appeared in the print issue.

In 2000, global health care company Merck deleted information concerning the heart attack risk associated with the arthritis drug Vioxx from an article it was about to submit to a medical journal. The changes in the electronic document, hidden from view, were revealed five years later, after the journal’s editor learned during a deposition in a Vioxx product liability lawsuit that an earlier version of the article had more information on heart attack risk. The editor retrieved the original file, uncovered the deleted information, and made a public announcement of the discovery.

Michael Kozubek

Bio and more articles

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.