United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
562 F.3d 163 (2009)
In 1996 there was an epidemic of bacterial meningitis in northern Nigeria. Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, conducted drug trials for a new antibiotic, Trovan, at a hospital in the area. Pfizer gave one hundred sick children Trovan. Pfizer gave another one hundred children Ceftriaxone, a well-established and effective antibiotic, but allegedly at a low dose to misrepresent the effectiveness of Trovan in comparison. Pfizer did not obtain the informed consent of the children or their guardians prior to administering the drugs, explain the experimental nature of the study or the risks involved, or inform them that conventional and effective treatment for bacterial meningitis was being provided for free at the same hospital. Five of the children who took Trovan and six of the children who took Ceftriaxone died, and many others were left blind, deaf, paralyzed, or brain-damaged. The children and their families (the families) (plaintiffs) sued Pfizer (defendant) under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), claiming that Pfizer’s experiments violated international law. The district court dismissed that action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under the ATS, and the families appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Parker, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 219,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.