LITIGATION: The Copper-7's Costly Legacy

The Copper-7's Costly Legacy

Executives at the Monsanto chemical company must have watched the stock-market opening last week with unusual trepidation. For good reason: after the market closed the previous Friday, a federal court jury in St. Paul awarded $8.75 million to a woman hurt by a Copper-7 intrauterine contraceptive device manufactured by G.D. Searle, a Monsanto subsidiary. The penalty raised a question: Could Monsanto go the way of A.H. Robins, which was forced into bankruptcy proceedings because of lawsuits generated by its Dalkon Shield IUD?

Probably not, but many Monsanto shareholders wanted to sell while they had a chance. In two days of hectic...

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