Breast Implants: The Evidence Isn't In

Just as the O.J. Simpson case has become the benchmark for how not to conduct a murder trial, so too is the battle over silicone breast implants well on its way to setting new lows for product-liability cases. On one side are almost half a million women who claim they were or could be harmed. On the other side are the implant manufacturers, including Dow Corning Corp. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., which face the possibility of enormous damages. A $4.2 billion settlement--the largest in litigation history--negotiated a year ago to settle a class action was supposed to avoid ruinous and protracted legal proceedings. But it has broken down, and there's little hope for a new agreement by the Aug. 30 deadline set by the judge.

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