Bendectin and Birth Defects: The Challenges of Mass Toxic Substances Litigation

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University of Pennsylvania Press, Feb 1, 1998 - Law - 384 pages
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Benedictin was prescribed to more than thirty-five million American women from its introduction in 1956 until 1983, when it was withdrawn from the market. The drug's manufacturer, Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals, a major U.S. pharmaceutical firm, joined a list of other companies whose product liabilities would result in precedent-setting litigation. Before it was over, the Benedictin litigation would involve 2,000 claimants over a fifteen-year period. Michael D. Green offers a comprehensive overview of the Benedictin case and highlights many of the key issues in mass toxic substances litigation, comparing individual and collective forms of litigation, and illustrating the misunderstandings between scientists and lawyers about the role of science in providing evidence for the legal system.

 

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Contents

The Science of Determining Toxic Causation
26
The Food and Drug Administration
44
The Wm S Merrell Company
95
The Mekdeci Case
121
The Unraveling of Mekdeci
148
Litigating a Multidistrict Case
167
The Withdrawal Of Bendectin
180
The Settlement and Unsettlement of MDL486
207
The MDL486 Trial
226
Oxendine
273
The Legacy of Bendectin for Toxic Causation Law
299
The Lessons and NonLessons of Bendectin Litigation
328
Selected Bibliography
353
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About the author (1998)

Michael D. Green is Professor of Law at the University of Iowa.

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