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$2.5-Billion Dalkon Shield Fund Ordered

December 11, 1987|United Press International

RICHMOND, Va. — A federal judge today ordered the A. H. Robins Co. to set aside $2.5 billion to settle claims filed by women who said they were injured by the company's Dalkon Shield intrauterine contraceptive device.

More than 300,000 claims were filed against the pharmaceutical giant by women contending that they were injured by the IUD. In the wake of the lawsuits, Robins in August, 1985, began reorganizing under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

This August, Robins and Rorer Group Inc. signed a definitive merger agreement, which required approval by the bankruptcy court. U.S. Judge Robert Merhige Jr. had required that the two companies work out a plan for settling the claims.

Robins and its insurer have so far paid $530 million on Dalkon Shield claims and the company's plan of reorganization envisioned paying $1.75 billion more for claims alleging infertility and other serious injuries.

Last month, advocacy groups for the claimants estimated the amount of money needed to settle the claims would be much higher.

The amount ordered by Merhige was higher than Robins had wanted to set aside but substantially less than women's advocacy groups had sought.

Between 1970 and 1974, an estimated 4 million American women used the Dalkon Shield, and Robins made $500,000 in profit on the device before pulling it off the market.

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