Preconception tort liability: recognizing a strict liability cause of action for DES GrandChildren

Courts should recognize the validity of preconception tort liability and allow a strict liability cause of action in third-generation DES cases

Abstract:

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This 1991 Note addresses the validity of preconception tort liability in the context of third-generation DES cases.

DES cases are breaking new ground in tort litigation. In March 1990, J. David Roberts filed a $ 2,000,000 lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against drug manufacturer Eli Lilly and Company,  alleging that his in utero exposure to DES caused his daughter’s cancer.  Roberts sued under theories of strict liability, emotional distress, breach of warranty, negligence and misrepresentation. He also alleged that DES manufacturers conspired to produce the drug after they knew of its dangers.

Over the past decade more than 1,000 “DES daughters” have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of DES, alleging that their in utero exposure to the drug caused various reproductive tract abnormalities, including cancer. Plaintiffs now allege that their grandmothers’ use of DES during pregnancy caused genetic damage leading to cancer in third generations. This Note addresses the validity of preconception tort liability in the context of third-generation DES cases. Plaintiffs in preconception tort liability cases have sought recovery under both negligence and strict liability causes of action. Courts should recognize the validity of preconception tort liability and allow a strict liability cause of action in third-generation cases.

Sources

  • Preconception tort liability: recognizing a strict liability cause of action for DES grandchildren, NCBI, PMID: 1812769, 1991;17(4):435-55. LexisNexis, Excerpt, 1991.
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Author: DES Daughter

Activist, blogger and social media addict committed to shedding light on a global health scandal and dedicated to raise DES awareness.

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