“Punytive” damages: the biggest corporate fines ever

Since I’ve discovered the website called Information is Beautiful, I’m afraid that all my available free time for at least the next year or so will be consumed by pouring over this fascinating time-sucker of a site. The book of the same name has been published across the world in nine languages. All of it was conceived and designed by David McCandless, a London-based author, information designer and data journalist. As he explains:

“I’m into anything strange and interesting. A passion of mine is visualizing information – facts, data, ideas, subjects, issues, statistics, questions – all with the minimum of words. Love pie – hate pie-charts.”  

The particular website feature that caught my eye is one called Punytive Damages: Largest Corporate Fines & Settlements of the Past Seven Years.

Note that for 2012, three of the top four fines were charged to drug companies.

See also:


4 thoughts on ““Punytive” damages: the biggest corporate fines ever

  1. What an interesting site. I’m not surprised the top four “puny” fines were charges against drug companies. They seem to excel when it comes to disinformation and misinformation they use in their misrepresentative and misleading advertising.

    • I love the Information Is Beautiful site! Drug company marketing is not only misleading, it’s downright deadly. GlaxoSmithKline’s record $3 billion fine, for example, was a slap on the wrist compared to its profits on the blockbuster drug Avandia – which has been blamed for 100,000 deaths directly attributable to the drug. And the doctors on the payroll of GSK who helped flog the drug to their peers to increase sales are just as culpable. More on Avandia here.

  2. As massive as the Big Pharma fines appear, they are simply the cost of doing business, as their marketing tactics have not changed despite the multi-billion dollar hits on their bottom lines. Very discouraging.

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