Product liability litigation
Cases involving Robins Dalkon Shield and Merrell Dow's Bendectin accounted for nearly one-fifth of the increase in products liability filings in federal courts since the mid-1970s, the General Accounting Office maintained in a report to Rep. Florio (D-N.J.), whose House Commerce Subcommittee passed product liability legislation in December. A federal interagency Tort Policy Working Group headed by the Justice Department has reported that federal court filings increased by 758% from 1974-1985. GAO's analysis shows that Dalkon Shield cases accounted for 12% of the filings and Bendectin cases accounted for 5%; asbestos cases accounted for another 40% of the filings. GAO concluded that "data seem inconsistent with the contention that there is a rapidly accelerating growth in federal product liability filings across a wide range of products.
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