A U.S. federal judge ruled that a widely-used spermicide caused birth defects in a 3 year old girl and ordered the manufacturer to pay 5.1 million in damages to the child and her mother.

           

Judge Marvin Shoob ruled that Ortho Pharmaceuticals Corporation of New Jersey, makes of Ortho-Gynol Contraceptive Jelly, should have warned its users that birth defects can result if the jelly fails to prevent conception. (Washington Post, January 24 1985) Expert witnesses testified that the jelly can damage sperm that it fails to kill.

           

The Judge also recommended that the company should warn users to stop using the jelly if they believe they may be pregnant.

 

                                                                                                            SM