You Heard It Here First — Report from the DES Breast Cancer Cases in Boston

7 Sep

*PLEASE CONTINUE TO CHECK THE DES INFO BLOG SITE AND FACEBOOK PAGE FOR UPDATES*

Opening statements were made today in the case of Fecho et al v. Eli Lilly and Company, and the upcoming proceedings and judge’s ruling will determine whether or not the plaintiffs, all DES daughters with breast cancer, will be able to move forward with their lawsuit.  The case is being considered by Judge Marianne B. Bowler at the John J. Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts.  In addition to one of the plaintiffs, a Boston area DES daughter and I were in the courtroom along with about two dozen lawyers representing Big Pharma.  The defendants in the case include:

  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Abbott Laboratories, Inc.
  • Glaxosmithkline (as successor to Burroughs-Welcome & Co.)
  • Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Pharmacia & UpJohn Company (formerly known as Upjohn Company)
  • Premo Pharmaceutical laboratories, Inc.
  • Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (a successor to Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)
  • Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (as successor to Carnick Labs)
  • Kremers-Urban Company
  • Mallinckrodt, Inc.
  • Ortho-McNeil Lab, Inc.
  • Person & Covey, Inc.

Of note to our readers, Attorney Aaron Levine referenced this year’s DES Awareness Week here in Massachusetts, reading aloud from the text of the DES Awareness Week Proclamation, which was issued to this Admin by the office of the Governor.

Both sides presented their opening statements, with Attorney Levine going first.  Speaking for the defendants were two attorneys representing Eli Lilly.  Aaron Levine put forth sound arguments as to why DES is a contributing factor to breast cancer.  He referred to the Palmer study, which has described the increased risk for this population, as the “eminent study deserving deference.”  Lilly’s attorney called Palmer’s subgroup analysis a “fraud”; the result of “slicing the data of the subgroup very finely” to support their theory that there is “no statistically increased” risk of breast cancer in the DES group studied by Palmer and her colleagues.

A dozen experts will begin testifying tomorrow and will finish some time next week.

FYI, the Docket # for the case is 11CV-10152.  Copies can be obtained from the Court Clerk’s office for a fee.

At the conclusion of the court session today, I and the two other DES daughters got acquainted over lunch. I want to thank the plaintiff for her courage and the local DES daughter for making the time to come to the courthouse and show her support.  My understanding is that there will be a stream of DES daughters in the courtroom throughout the proceedings.  If any of you has the chance to stop by the courthouse and listen for a while, please take a few notes and post your thoughts here at DES Info.

Posted by Admin Andrea


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