Imagine, if you will, a schoolyard bully who tries to impress his fellow bullies. Imagine, if you will, the kind of person who wants to be popular among his peers yet every time he tries to impress them he gets things wrong, so wrong.
Let me introduce you to King & Spalding’s, Andrew Bayman.
Bayman, who on day one of Dolin Vs GSK, claimed that Paxil does not induce suicide, today got to cross-examine Dolin’s first expert, Dr. David Healy.
This was something I was really looking forward to. On one hand, I wanted to see how good King & Spalding were, let’s face it, they’ve made a lot of money defending large corporate companies over the years. As Glaxo’s first choice of defence attorney’s one would assume that they would try and throw the kitchen sink at any expert witness who speaks out against their client, moreover, their client’s product, as is in this case, GlaxoSmithKline’s Paxil.
So, how does one defend the indefensible?
Step forward Andrew Bayman, a guy who struts his stuff by flicking out his arms suggesting that he is ready to spar with any opponent who dares cross the might of King & Spalding or, indeed, GlaxoSmithKline.
It’s fair to say that Bayman failed to deliver today, in fact, if I was GSK’s CEO I’d be deeply disappointed in the performance of King & Spalding’s finest.
So, how does one go about disputing evidence put forward by the world’s leading SSRI expert, David Healy? Does one dispute the science behind the evidence?
As you’d expect from GSK, their attorneys do everything but discuss the science.
I’ve seen excuses made by Glaxo over the years but one today almost had me biting the arm of the front pew where I was seated.
Bayman, in efforts to discredit Healy, asked him about his popular website, Rxisk.org, moreover about the donations to the said website.
Bayman, upon learning that Healy’s Rxisk website received a small donation from an American attorney, went down a road that was laughable, nae embarrassing. In the words of Del Boy, a popular British fictional wheeler and dealer, he made himself look like a right ‘plonker’ (Google it, Todd, you’ll see I’m right)
Bayman, flicking out his arms like a gunslinger from a John Wayne movie, made the assumption that Healy’s Rxisk was merely a platform to attract patients with stories of SSRI side effects so he and his attorney friend, who made the small donation, could, in future, litigate on behalf of any of the patients who leave comments on Healy’s website.
Healy, into his third day of questioning, smiled.
The answer he gave Bayman was simple.
Healy told Bayman, and the jury, that any attorney who donated money to Rxisk.org would possibly be in an awkward position. In fact, upon receiving this small donation Healy told the donator that Rxisk was all about seeking the truth about SSRI’s and any such truth outed would possibly lessen lawsuits filed against the makers of SSRI’s.
Bayman seemed to be at a loss for words with this reply.
Next, faux pas was Bayman showing the jury, via the various screens dotted around the court, a selection of text taken from a book Healy wrote back in 2013. Also various published papers by Healy.
Upon asking Healy if he had written the text highlighted, Healy responded by telling Bayman to scroll down the page to see the reference. There he would see that the highlighted text Bayman had chosen to show the jury was actually a quote by, um…wait for it…someone else.
All day, Bayman was cherry-picking selective text from various articles written by Healy. All day long Healy told him that if the sentence was read in full context then he (Bayman) would see what it actually meant.
You see, Bayman’s job was to try and make David Healy slip up. He wanted the jury to see that Healy contradicts himself. He failed on a grand scale.
“No further questions” came at around 3.40pm and, I must admit, I was surprised that Bayman was severely lacking in the questioning skills that I have become accustomed to reading John Grisham novels.
It was a good day for Dolin and her law team of David Rappaport and Brent Wisner, they made few objections, preferring instead to let Bayman dig himself a hole and look rather incompetent to the watching jury.
I felt embarrassed for Bayman, it was one of those moments one gets when watching David Brent in The Office (UK version) (Google it, Todd)
He tried to serve aces all day long – he just kept hitting the net.
It’s enlightening to know that this is GSK’s defence. Target whoever stands in their way and forget about the 10 years or so that they failed to tell the FDA about Paxil’s suicide risk. A point that Healy also picked up on when he told the jury that if GSK had told the FDA all those years ago about Paxil’s propensity to induce suicide, then many lives could have been saved.
Court resumes again tomorrow morning.
Dolin Vs GSK