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Mink v. University of Chicago

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
460 F. Supp. 713 (N.D. III. 1978)


Facts

From 1950 to 1952, the University of Chicago and Eli Lilly & Company (defendants) gave pills containing diethylstilbestrol (DES) to approximately 1,000 pregnant women at the University of Chicago’s Lying-in Hospital. The defendants were conducting a study of whether DES could prevent miscarriages. The women did not know that they were ingesting DES, nor that they were part of a study. Years later, the women sued the defendants, claiming that DES caused their children to develop physical abnormalities and an increased risk of cancer. Among other things, the women alleged that the defendants committed a series of batteries by administering DES without the women’s consent. The defendants moved to dismiss the suit, arguing that the women themselves had not suffered any physical injury, and for this reason had not alleged facts sufficient to state a claim.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Grady, J.)

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