Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date



Asbestos and the Dalkon Shield intrauterine device share a number of unhappy distinctions. Both products have exacted a terrible human toll. Damage suits seeking recovery for harm linked to both have put considerable strain on the judicial system. Corporate decisions made in the course of marketing both have been deemed reprehensible. Manufacturers of both have sought refuge in bankruptcy. And both have provided the grist for hard-hitting books by veteran investigative journalists.

Paul Brodeur's Outrageous Misconduct: The Asbestos Industry on Trial returns a harsh verdict against the Manville Corporation and others directly and indirectly involved in the production of what was once called the "magic mineral." Morton Mintz makes a similar finding with respect to the A.H. Robins Company in At Any Cost: Corporate Greed, Women, and the Dalkon Shield.

Both men are thoroughly familiar with their subjects. Brodeur, a staff writer for The New Yorker, has published several books on asbestos. As an investigative reporter for The Washington Post, Mintz has long prowled the pharmaceutical industry beat.

This review will first briefly evaluate the books on their own terms and then comment upon their contributions to an understanding of tort law and the torts process. Their relevance to the current "liability crisis" will receive special attention.

Publication Citation

85 Mich. L. Rev. 1324-1340 (1987) (reviewing Morton Mintz, At Any Cost: Corporate Greed, Women and the Dalkon Shield (1985) and Paul Brodeur, Outrageous Misconduct: The Asbestos Industry on Trial (1985))