Public Notification Campaigns in Mass Litigation: The Dalkon Shield Case: The dalkon shield case

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Abstract

A major issue in many mass litigation cases is how to notify interested parties of their right to file claims against the alleged defendant(s), a problem that arises not only in class action cases, but also in actions consolidated through the multidistrict litigation procedure in the federal courts and in cases in which a defendant has filed for protection under the federal bankruptcy act. In this paper I discuss some of the general issues involved in notification, and report on a pair of surveys that provide some insight into how a large scale public notification campaign worked in the Dalkon Shield litigation. The evidence from the surveys suggests that the notification campaign served to activate a largely preexisting awareness of the alleged hazards of the Shield rather than to educate the public concerning the existence of those hazards. These findings raise questions about how a public notification campaign modeled after that used in the this case might work if the level of public awareness was very low at the time the campaign was conducted. © 1988 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-239
Number of pages20
JournalJustice System Journal
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 1988

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