Lilly settlement leaked in errant email

Think before you click. That's the moral of today's tale, the story of a lawyer, a reporter and a $1 billion potential settlement that Eli Lilly wanted to keep quiet--but ended up all over the news.

You'll recall that last week, the New York Times broke the news that Lilly was negotiating a deal with the government to settle claims that it defied drug-marketing rules when pushing its antipsychotic drug Zyprexa. The price tag on that settlement could reach $1 billion, the paper reported.

Now, Portfolio magazine has the behind-the-scenes skinny about that article: As soon as it hit, Lilly execs started accusing the feds of leaking the settlement info. But what really happened was that one of Lilly's outside lawyers accidentally emailed info about the settlement talks to Times reporter Alex Berenson--instead of to her co-counsel Bradford Berenson.

Like Lilly, when confronted with the settlement news, Alex Berenson told the magazine he couldn't comment on how he got his info.

- read the story in Portfolio