Unfavorable article against hip device firm holds up in court

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The maker of a device used to protect fragile hip joints in nursing home residents failed to raise sufficient evidence to justify a trade disparagement claim against the author of an unfavorable article, a state high court ruled March 13. In affirming a summary judgment for Douglas Kiel, M.D., the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court said the plaintiff — HipSaver Inc. —could not prove most of the elements of a claim for commercial disparagement arising from the publication of an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Kiel was one of the article's authors. The piece described the results of a clinical trial he designed that “confirm[ed] the growing body of evidence that hip protectors are not effective in nursing home populations.”