DENVER -- Procter & Gamble's head of product safety testing, testifying in a $25 million lawsuit against the firm, said Rely tampons were thoroughly tested and found to be 'absolutely safe' before being placed on the market.
Dr. Gordon Hassing was called to the witness stand Wednesday by attorneys for Deletha Dawn Lampshire, 18, a college freshman who claims she contracted toxic shock syndrome in May 1980 from her use of Rely tampons.
Under questioning by attorney Steven Kaufman, Hassing admitted the company did not test for toxin production associated with Rely.
'Even today (toxic shock syndrome) is not linked to any specific toxin, so how could Procter & Gamble test for it?' he said.
Hassing said testing of the product was 'complete and thorough' and concluded the product was 'absolutely safe.'
A former member of the TSS task force at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta testified Tuesday that the suspected bacteria associated with toxic shock syndrome lived up to six weeks longer in Rely tampons than in any other brand. Dr. Bruce Dan said a woman using Rely tampons was 'much more likely' to contract the disease.
Hassing said the company did not test to determine if the bacteria associated with TSS would live in Rely tampons.
The suit contends Ms. Lampshire suffered physical and emotional problems as a result of toxic shock syndrome while Procter & Gamble attorneys claim she did not have TSS, but suffered complications from a severe bout of influenza.