Tuesday 14 June 2011


Legal compensation for injuries due to in utero DES exposure has been possible in USA, France, Netherlands and so far, in one case, in Australia.

In 2005, the media release by DES Action Australia-NSW "Australians adversely affected by pregnancy drug sold out by TGA" stated:
Since the 1980s several thousand DES daughters in USA have as individuals successfully sued the drug companies who manufactured DES. An estimated US$300 million has been paid to these DES daughters in total. USA attorneys stand ready to investigate offshore claims in USA for Australians affected.

Several groups of Australian solicitors have advised DES Action Australia-NSW that compensation for adverse effects of DES exposure is not possible under Australian law. On 6th July 1999 on "Current Affair"TV program, Australian solicitor for Slater & Gordon, Paula Shelton explained:
DES was never patented and was available in bulk batches in Australia. There were over 200 brand names of DES, thus making identification of the individual drug maker difficult. Unlike US law where there is shared liability of the drug companies who produced DES, Australian law has necessitated that the individual company must be proven for an Australian case.

In 2008 an Australian DES daughter, diagnosed with clear cell adenocarcinoma won her legal case in USA against the manufacturers of DES.The following may be important for some people affected by DES exposure:
At blog site item 22/11/08 there is the media release (8/11/08) Australian woman wins battle against 'wonder drug' makers in United States. The US attorney involved, Sybil Shainwald, explains that Australian women physically damaged by DES exposure may have the option of pursuing legal claims in the courts of the United States. It is not necessary to be present in USA for this legal claim. A listing of US attorneys can be found at http://www.desaction.org/attorneys.htm

(Contact DES Action Australia-NSW if you require further information.)

On 9th June there was a landmark legal case in France, where the grandson of a DES mother, seriously handicapped due to his premature birth, was awarded 1.7 million euros (AU$2.3m). More about this at http://tinyurl.com/3tc73dr

In the article "Successful Lawsuits for Premature DES Grandchildren"(DES Action USA newsletter VOICE, #109-2006), US attorney Aaron Levine addressed the subject of DES grandchildren cases. He had filed seven DES premature birth cases since 2004, which had resolved successfully in structured settlements totaling more than US$20m to be paid throughout their lives for therapy, special education and loss of earnings. He explains that these cases concentrate on DES premature children who live normal life expectancies, but suffer a range of impairments from moderate learning disabilities to devastating handicaps and who, "but for" their mother's in utero DES exposure, would have gone to term and lived normal, healthy lives.

Wednesday 1 June 2011

DES Awareness Week Today

DES Awareness Week June 1-7 starts today on the Department of Health and Ageing calendar. A media release and brief notices about DES have been distributed to hundreds of media sources across Australia.

Here is a very apt "universal message" for people about DES by US screenwriter and DES daughter, Caitlin McCarthy. This message will be especially helpful for first time visitors to this website. Caitlin only learned of her DES exposure as recently as 2005. Listen to this:

Here is our media release published on the US CNN website:

Here is a blog site posting about DES Awareness Week by Lisa, a DES daughter: