Jury Says Dow Chemical Withheld Data on Implant Dangers

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NEW ORLEANS: In what could set the stage for one of the largest class-action payouts in U.S. history, a jury yesterday ruled Dow Chemical withheld information about the potential dangers of the implants. Dow Chemical, the parent company of the implant producer Dow Corning, had claimed it had no involvement in the product's testing. The verdict in the first breast implants class-action lawsuit to go to trial opens the door for a complex legal process in which 1,800 women are seeking money for immune system related aches and pains.

Jurors must next decide if the implants made the women sick and, if so, what damages they are owed. Dow execs have good reason to worry about facing a multi-billion dollar bill: In December, the company offered up $3.4 billion to settle thousands of cases. A lawyer representing just 300 plaintiffs said that amount was "woefully inadequate."