If Faulty Pfizer Pills Result in Pregnancy, Can You Sue?

Yes, in most states: Slate
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2012 1:15 PM CST
A woman holds prescription contraceptives June 13, 2001 in Seattle, Washington.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – If you unintentionally get pregnant because you were on Pfizer's recalled birth control pills, can you sue? In most states, the answer is yes, writes Brian Palmer in Slate's Explainer column. That's because most US courts recognize the "unwanted conception" or "unwanted pregnancy" tort, which usually comes into effect when a tubal ligation or vasectomy doesn't work. Making a case based on flawed birth control claims is more difficult, however, since even a non-faulty pill is not as effective as the aforementioned procedures.

Beyond that, the manufacturer could attempt to make the argument that you didn't take the pills according to the correct schedule. Despite the difficulties, lawsuits against birth control makers have gone forward, and in this case Pfizer has helped any potential litigants by admitting its possible error. If you did manage to successfully sue, damages would likely be limited to the cost of prenatal care through labor and delivery, plus maybe a bit for emotional distress. That means that no, you can't send Junior to an expensive private school and then sue for the cost of tuition. Click for the full column.

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