N – Company sues paper’s contributor for libel

The journal Circulation has printed a correction to a paper on a trial at the centre of a libel trial, the BMJ reports (2009;339:b3659). The correction (Circulation 2009;120:e71-2, doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.192626) says that a trial of a migraine intervention had “a number of errors and omissions” (Circulation 2008;117:1397-404, doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.727271). The lawsuit was brought by the manufacturer against Peter Wilmshurst, a consultant cardiologist, following comments he reportedly made on a website. The case shows the way libel law is being used in scientific debate. Dr Wilmshurst said that the correction is inadequate and that “the published paper is not a complete reflection of the trial.”