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This story is not about Prozac, which from the weight of evidence appears to be a relatively safe drug. Rather, this is a tale of what happens when secret settlements are taken to their illogical extreme — in this case, a “sham” trial in which the plaintiffs and their lawyers were paid to pull their punches so the defendant could get a favorable verdict.

It started in September 1989, when Joseph Wesbecker armed himself with an AK-47, walked into the Louisville printing plant where he had worked, and started shooting. He killed eight people, wounded twelve more, and finished matters by blowing his own brains out. One month before, Wesbecker had begun taking Prozac. The lawyers for the shooting victims soon focused on the drug as the cause for Wesbecker’s extraordinary violence, and they targeted Eli Lilly, Prozac’s manufacturer, as the “deep pocket.”

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