Jury Selected for Pregnancy Drug Lawsuit

(NECN: John Moroney) - A federal lawsuit filed by four sisters claiming the anti-miscarriage drug their mother took while she was pregnant gave them all breast cancer later in life will be heard in Boston, and jury selection took place in Boston federal court Friday for the case against drug maker Eli Lilly and Co.

Arline MacCormack is from Newton, Mass. She had breast cancer and her mother did take DES. She came to court in Boston to show support for the Fecho sisters, four women originally from Pennsylvania. They say DES resulted in each of them developing breast cancer before the age of 50.

Criminal defense attorney Robert Jubinville says expert testimony will play a big role in this trial.

"Aside from all the evidence and the experts. It's a very emotional thing, especially for women jurors or even men whose wives had breast cancer or some sort of cancer. So it's going to get very emotional for a lot of people on that jury," Jubinville said.

Drug makers like Eli Lilly have said there is no firm link between DES and breast cancer. The FDA banned the drug in the early 70's. But not before a lot of women took it while they were pregnant.

"I was born in 1961. Had they taken the drug off the market when they found out it didn't work for what they were prescribing it for. I might not have had breast cancer," MacCormack said.

There's been a gag order placed on all the parties involved in the suit. But Eli Lilly did provide NECN with a statement, saying, "We believe these claims are without merit and are prepared to defend against them vigorously."

"I think you could make an argument right down the chain. Of course, the pharmacists and the doctor are all going to say, 'We relied on the drug manufacturer, they told us it was okay,'" Jubinville said.

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