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ARTICLE ID 186855

DEFENDANT’S – PRODUCT LIABILITY – MANUFACTURING DEFECT – MEDICAL MALPRACTICE – FACTORY WORKER’S EXPOSURE TO TOXIC BPA CAUSES SEVERE BIRTH DEFECTS IN CHILD – MEDICAL STAFF FAILS TO FIND CAUSE.

Cook County Circuit Court

In this complex medical malpractice/product liability case, the mother of a child born with birth defects sued the hospital’s medical personnel and the manufacturer of the chemical she was exposed to in her workplace. The medical personnel and three of the product’s manufacturers settled pretrial. The remaining defendant manufacturer denied wrongdoing.

On July 9, ________, Bryant L.P. was born to Brenda L.P. At the time of his birth, Bryant was without a left arm or left kidney, as well as having a cleft palate and a cleft lip. The infant’s mother was employed as a factory line assembler where she was exposed to Loctite ________, a retaining compound containing the alleged toxic substance Bisphenol A (BPA). The plaintiff stated that she was never warned of any possible birth defects or given other health warnings associated with this product, which she asserted was the cause of her child’s condition at birth. The defendants named in subsequent litigation included the plaintiff’s radiologist and other treating physicians, none of whom were able to offer a reason for the child’s condition.

Suit was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County by the Brenda L.P. on behalf of her son Bryant. Damages were sought for product liability and medical malpractice against the plaintiff’s radiologist, the medical facility where he was delivered, various other attending physicians, and four of Loctite ________’s manufacturers. The suit with the radiologist settled pretrial for $1 million. Product liability against three of the manufacturers settled for $3.2 million, also pretrial. Trial was held regarding the plaintiff’s claim against Henkel Loctite Corp, the German company who also manufactured the product. Henkel denied the association between BPA and health risks and made no settlement offer.

During the 13-day trial, the plaintiffs argued that exposure to Loctite ________ and the Bisphenol A contained therein was the direct cause of the child’s birth defects. The defendant was therefore accused of negligently placing a hazardous product on the market without warning of possible side effects. The plaintiff brought testimony from chemist Professor Robert Moriarty of the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as Dr. Shenker, an occupational disease physician. The experts affirmed the presence of BPA and its causal relationship with the child’s birth defects.

The defendant denied the alleged link, stating that there was no medical literature that tied it to birth defects. The defendant brought expert testimony from an orthopedic surgeon and plastic surgeon regarding the child’s damages. The consensus of the defendant’s experts was that BPA’s toxicity was possible, but not definitively proven.After two days of dleiberation, the jury returned a verdict for the defendant, discharging Henkel of liability for the birth defects sustained by Bryant L.S. and associated damages claimed by his mother.

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