RICHMOND, JULY 22 -- Dalkon Shield health claims of 113,000 women have been disallowed by a federal judge because the claimants failed to meet a request for more information on the extent of their alleged injuries.
U.S. District Judge Robert R. Merhige Jr., who filed the order invalidating the claims Tuesday, said he would reinstate any claim if given adequate reason why a court questionnaire was not returned.
After a worldwide notification program by A.H. Robins Co. early last year, about 330,000 people filed claims for injuries allegedly caused by use of the intrauterine birth control device marketed by Robins in the early 1970s.
Robins filed in August 1985 for reorganization under Chapter 11 of federal bankruptcy law and for protection to stem the tide of litigation connected to the Dalkon Shield.
After the claims were received, U.S. Bankruptcy Court employes began mailing questionnaires to claimants. The questionnaires were intended to give the court a better idea of who had a valid claim against the company.
The claims dismissed by Merhige were from women who failed to respond to a follow-up questionnaires.
Merhige also set Aug. 21 as the deadline for Robins to amend its disclosure statement, which explains how the company would operate after the bankruptcy case is concluded.
A hearing on that plan, originally slated for Tuesday, has been moved back to Nov. 5 because of merger talks between Robins and Rorer Group Inc. of Pennsylvania. Any merger agreement between the two pharmaceutical companies would have to be incorporated in the reorganization plan