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Court gags parties from speaking to the media in breast implant lawsuit

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Court gags parties from speaking to the media in breast implant lawsuit05/16/95 NEVADA--A state court judge in Reno lifted her…

Court gags parties from speaking to the media in breast implant lawsuit

05/16/95

NEVADA–A state court judge in Reno lifted her own two-day-old gag order in mid-May that had silenced Dow Corning Corp. and other parties to a breast implant lawsuit, according to the New York Times.

Washoe County District Court Judge Connie Steinheimer issued the order after lawyers for women with implants claimed that a full-page Dow Corning advertisement that appeared in newspapers across the country was an attempt at jury tampering, the Times reported.

The judge’s order barred “all counsel, parties involved and employees of parties … from the dissemination of advertisements, participating in interviews, or dissemination of information in any way to the public, in newspapers or other publications that are distributed in this jurisdiction,” according to the Times.

John O’Quinn, a Houston attorney representing 2,000 women who are suing breast implant manufacturers, is trying to have Dow Corning held in contempt of court for the ads.

Dow Corning is a defendant in a law suit in Judge Steinheimer’s court over allegations by women who say that breast implants have made them sick. Jury selection is expected to begin in late May.

The ad ran May 10 in newspapers across the country and cited studies that Dow Corning said indicated that implants are safe.

The ad gave phone numbers for further information and criticized “plaintiff’s attorneys involved in billion-dollar litigation” for making it harder for women to receive breast implants for medical or cosmetic purposes. The ad also said that such litigation was threatening development of other products such as heart valves and defibrilators. (Mahlum v. Hyer)