When Eli Lilly & Co. saw that its confidential settlement talks with the government made front-page news in the New York Times, they accused federal officials of leaking the information. However, an investigation by the company found that the source of the leak was one of its outside lawyers. Apparently the lawyer writing the e-mail meant to send the confidential information to her co-counsel at another firm, but instead sent the e-mail to a reporter at the New York Times. The reporter claims that, although he did receive an e-mail from the firm, it did not contain a detailed description of the status of the settlement talks, and that he actually got his information from other sources.
Eli Lilly & Co. is in negotiations with the government over alleged marketing improperties. They are accused of improperly marketing their most popular drug, Zyprexa, for schizophrenia.
In an unrelated but similar incident in 2002, Eli Lilly settled with the FTC and eight state attorneys general after an employee unintentionally released e-mail address of nearly 700 subscribers to its prozac.com e-mail alert.