Professor Michael Green quoted in Maclean’s about what you don’t know about a leading morning-sickness drug

Photo of Wake Forest Law Professor Michael D. Green

Mike Green is one of the country’s most respected experts in the area of tort law. He currently serves as a Co-Reporter for the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Liability for Physical Harm, a publication of the prestigious American Law Institute.

Professor Michael Green is quoted in the following Maclean’s story entitled, “What you don’t know about a leading morning-sickness drug.”

In 1977, the first of some 2,000 U.S. claimants came forward, alleging the drug was responsible for birth defects, including limb malformations. (The overall rate of all malformations in live births is five per cent.) The lawsuits exposed the fact that research into Bendectin was scant, says lawyer Michael D. Green, author of the 392-page Bendectin and Birth Defects: The Challenges of Mass Toxic Substances Litigation. Green, a professor of law at Wake Forest University, told Maclean’s the drug was introduced when it was believed drugs didn’t cross the placental barrier. Thalidomide hadn’t come to market; mandatory registered clinical trials to test drug safety and efficacy were not routine. Some information unearthed in the early cases—including a letter from Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals to a British researcher offering to endow an institute in his name if his research proved useful—played into plaintiffs’ hands, he says. “In absence of the fairly exonerative evidence that developed later, the plaintiffs had early successes.”