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In a decision that restores 1,000 hormone replacement therapy mass tort cases to the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court’s caseload, the state Superior Court said it is a question of fact, not a question of law, whether the plaintiffs could have known at the time of their diagnoses with breast cancer that the alleged cause of their cancer was their HRT prescriptions.

The manufacturers of HRT drugs argued that the plaintiffs’ two-year statute of limitations ran from the day they were diagnosed with breast cancer, while the plaintiffs argued that an alleged link between HRT drugs and breast cancer was not known prior to the release of the Women’s Health Initiative study on July 9, 2002. The study received wide-ranging notoriety because the study was discontinued out of the concern that the study participants taking HRT were showing a higher rate of breast cancer than the control group, among other reasons.

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