Victims of Stuttering Study Get $1M Each

Orphans harassed in 1939 'Monster Study'
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Aug 18, 2007 3:56 PM CDT
A painting of Dr. Wendell Johnson hangs in the entrance to the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Five orphans who suffered months of harassment in a stuttering study have been awarded almost $1 million each, the BBC reports. Dubbed “The Monster Study,” it involved Iowa University researchers harassing children to make them develop speech impediments in 1939. None became stutterers, but they filed suit a few years ago after a California newspaper revealed the hidden study.

Now in their seventies and eighties, the plaintiffs had originally sued for $13.5 million, saying the study made them self-conscious and hesitant to speak. The university has apologized for the experiment and Iowa’s attorney general called the payout of $900,000 to each of the five and $25,000 to a sixth victim, “fair and appropriate.”