Birth Control Pill Recall: Lawsuits on the Way?

Pfizer has issued a recall for a whopping one million birth control pills due to a packaging error. This is a big deal. 14 lots of Lo/Ovral-28 pills and 14 lots of Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol pills are being recalled as an investigation found that some of the blister packs may contain an inexact count of inert or active ingredient tablets, and that the tablets may be out of sequence.

Let’s be honest. We have a million birth control pills that don’t work. Plaintiffs’ lawyers’ instinct is to salivate. Like Pavlovian dogs. There are going to be lawsuits. Birth control pills have lead to a lot of lawsuits. But the “injury”in NuvaRing and Yaz cases is pretty obvious. Here, we have an obvious “injury” with complicated legal conseqences. Putting it bluntly, the “injury” here is unwanted children.

Most states allow for wrongful birth lawsuits and they are often big dollar claims because there is incredible on-going costs associated with raising a child with a severe birth injury. But in this case, you can expect, thankfully, that the vast majority of children these birth control pills were meant to prevent are going to be happy and healthy children.

The parents’ damages in these type of case is the cost of raising a child. I’ve got three. They are expensive little suckers. But these damages are offset by the joy of having the child. Who gets up and argues that the cost of raising a child is greater than joy that child brings? So, unless I’m missing something, I can’t see a lot of value in lawsuits brought against Pfizer for this birth control recall debacle. (The stock market agrees with me; Pfizer is up nearly 1% today.)