Bendectin on Trial: A Study of Mass Tort Litigation

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University of Michigan Press, 1998 - Law - 283 pages
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Beginning in the mid 1970s the manufacturer of Benedictin was sued repeatedly over allegations that the drug--prescribed for pregnant women to overcome the effects of morning sickness--had caused birth defects. Yet in twenty years no one has collected any damages.
Joseph Sanders offers a comprehensive study of this litigation. Sanders looks at the cases from the different perspectives of the parties involved: attorneys, scientists, and juries. He discusses the role of lawyers in the development of claims and in the litigation, how scientific evidence is used in these trials, and the role of judges in managing and resolving these cases.
Increasingly, courts have decided who will bear the costs of the side effects of many products. These cases often involve thousands of individual law suits and present a variety of issues for the courts, including how to determine factual issues of causation, the value of claims, and how to fairly manage a large volume of claims. And yet the role of the judicial system in resolving liability issues involving large numbers of claims is highly controversial.
This book will appeal to scholars of the American judiciary and those interested in the role of courts in product liability matters.
Joseph Sanders is Professor of Law, University of Houston Law Center.
 

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Contents

Beginnings
1
The Maturing Congregation
23
The Science
45
The Experts
91
The Juries
117
The Judges
143
Closure
175
Law Science and the Jury
193
Appendix A A Short History of Merr ell
213
Appendix B The Reported Cases
215
Notes
223
Bibliography
253
Index
277
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