1997 DES Case: Wood v. Eli Lilly & Company


“The original complaint in this case was filed in the Broward County, Florida, Circuit Court on March 1, 1988, Case No. 88-5578-CS. The named plaintiffs were Bettie W. Wood, Susan Wood and Jonathan H. Wood, Jr. Bettie W. Wood died in 1991, and her estate was substituted as a party plaintiff.

Defendants removed the action to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The gravamen of the complaint is that the plaintiffs were exposed to the drug diethylstilbestrol (“DES”) in utero because their mother ingested DES during her pregnancies with the three plaintiffs, and that each subsequently suffered illnesses allegedly related to DES.

WOOD v. ELI LILLY & CO., Leagle, 1997480106F3d374_1412, February 26, 1997.

By order dated September 19, 1989, the district court dismissed the action because of the inability of the plaintiffs to identify the manufacturer, or manufacturers, of the DES ingested by their mother.

The plaintiffs appealed to this court, and while the appeal was pending, the Florida Supreme Court rendered its opinion in Conley v. Boyle Drug Co., which held that a market share theory of liability could be used in DES cases to apportion liability. This theory permits a plaintiff to bring an action in such cases without requiring the plaintiff to allege or prove that a particular defendant produced or marketed the precise DES taken by (in that case) the plaintiff’s mother.

In an unpublished opinion, on May 3, 1991, this court vacated the order of the district court and remanded for reconsideration in light of Conley.” …

… continue reading the full paper WOOD v. ELI LILLY & CO. on Leagle.

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