1988 DES Case: Shields v. Eli Lilly & Co. Memorandum

Plaintiff Amy Shields brought an action in this Court alleging that she had suffered severe and permanent injury, including but not limited to, clear cell adenocarcinoma of the vagina, as a result of her exposure in utero to diethylstilbestrol (DES) manufactured, sold, distributed, and/or promoted by the defendant. On September 26, 1988, the Court granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed plaintiff’s complaint with prejudice, finding that despite having had ample time for discovery, plaintiff still failed to show sufficient, non-speculative evidence that she had indeed been exposed to defendant’s DES in utero. ” …

SHIELDS v. ELI LILLY & CO., Leagle, 1988964704FSupp260_1897, December 6, 1988.

” Plaintiff asks the Court to reconsider its ruling in light of seven specified factors.

  1. … Plaintiff argues that there was no inconsistency between plaintiff’s mother’s identification of the pills she purportedly took while pregnant with plaintiff and plaintiff’s subsequent answers to defendant’s interrogatories, which said that her mother did not remember the physical description of the pills, dates of ingestion, nor instructions for use. …
  2. … Plaintiff argues that the labor and delivery records of plaintiff’s mother do not “negate exposure” to DES. …
  3. … Plaintiff complains that defendant “misrepresented” Nurse Clifford’s use of the term “on occasion.” …
  4. … Plaintiff notes that “defendant failed to advise the Court that the only variety or congener of DES commonly used and recommended in 1955 was Dienestrol, manufactured by White Chemical Company.” …
  5. … Plaintiff argues that the Court failed to grasp “the true meaning” of Celotex v. Catrett, which plaintiff explains, “only concerns itself with the sufficiency of evidence needed by a moving party, and … leaves it to the District of Columbia Circuit to determine what is sufficient evidence in opposing summary judgment.” …
  6. … Plaintiff notes that, contrary to defendant’s oral argument, Bulthuis v. Rexall Corp, was not vacated. …
  7. … Plaintiff asserts that “the test at this stage of the proceedings is not `whether a fair-minded jury could reasonably conclude that the plaintiff is entitled to a verdict,'” but “whether there is any evidence in the record from any source which if reduced to admissible evidence, could create a reasonable inference that the plaintiff was exposed to DES.”  …

… Finally, plaintiff’s motion asks the Court whether “a young woman suffering from a rare type of cancer, (which [plaintiff parenthetically notes without support or further elaboration] did not exist before the marketing of DES) is unable to bring her dead doctor or her lost prenatal records into court 33 years later, is she automatically barred from trial?”

… read the full paper SHIELDS v. ELI LILLY & CO., on Leagle.

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