United States of America

In October, a birth injury malpractice verdict was awarded against a Minnesota midwife which demonstrates the very real dangers of failing to accurately estimate the fetal size and weight before delivery. The plaintiff, a mother from a small town in Eastern Minnesota, sued the certified nurse midwife from Allina Health negligently mishandling the delivery of her son in January 2016.

This was the plaintiff’s second child and throughout her pregnancy, she repeatedly told her midwife at Allina Health that the baby felt considerably larger with this pregnancy. The midwife reassured her that the baby was normal sized and estimated that he would be around 6 pounds at birth. Unfortunately for the midwife, this weight estimate turned out to be disastrously wrong.

Fetal Macrosomia

Last week I read speculation that the Roundup lawsuits might bankrupt Bayer because the cost of the settlements and verdicts they will have to pay will destroy the company.  Do I believe this?  No.  But, boy, it makes me more interested in every tidbit of information about the Roundup lawsuits pending in federal court.

court-of-appeals-199x300The judge overseeing all of the federal lawsuits involving the weed killer Roundup has granted Bayer’s request to have an upcoming trial split into two phases. This order prevents plaintiffs from introducing evidence that the company tried to influence regulators and manipulate the public into thinking that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, was safe. Roundup plaintiffs’ attorneys opposed Bayer’s proposals because they felt that their evidence proves Monsanto’s intent and misconduct.

Upcoming trial in February 2019

In July 2018, 3M settled a lawsuit with the federal government over its Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2), which it had sold to the US military. The lawsuit alleged that 3M knowingly supplied them with defective earplugs that may have resulted in the hearing loss and impairment of hundreds of thousands of military personnel.

I do not think this is going to be the last Combat Arms Earplug lawsuit that 3M is going to have to settle.

Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2

I’m writing to update readers on the Taxotere class action (MDL) lawsuits.

Taxotere has been one of the most widely used chemotherapy drugs since it was developed in the mid-1990s. Chemotherapy drugs like Taxotere work by attacking cancer cells within the body. Taxotere was originally developed and introduced by the New Jersey pharmaceutical company Adventis which is now Sanfoi-Adventis.

courthouse-300x200Following its approval by the FDA in 1996, a strong marketing push soon made Taxotere the chemo drug of choice for breast cancer treatment. Breast cancer is one of the most common types of all cancers with 300,000 women diagnosed annually. By 2009 the majority of breast cancer patients were being treated at some point with Taxotere, making it the most prescribed chemo agent in the U.S. In 2009, the year before the original patent on Taxotere expired, Sanfoi-Adventis reported $3 billion in revenues from its popular chemo drug.

A recent study has reported that using antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy increases the likelihood of children developing Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the future. It is hard to pretend that anyone is surprised by this.

What are AEDs?

pills-300x218Anticonvulsants, commonly known as antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), are a class of drugs primarily used for epileptic seizures. They help decrease seizure frequency and severity. Known to function as mood stabilizers, AEDs are also used to treat mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. Examples of AEDs include valproates, Klonopin, and Topamax.

As I have been saying, the Zostavax vaccine lawsuits are jumping with energy right now.  Lawyers want these cases which is why you see television commercials and Facebook and Google ads (and, yes, legal blog posts) from attorneys hustling to sign up victims.

These Zostavax lawsuits allege that the plaintiffs experienced severe complications, most notably shingles, from being administered it. Another lawsuit has recently been filed in the Pennsylvania courts, that allege even more side effects other than shingles or Bell’s palsy.

Georgia woman gets bronchitis from Zostavax

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria will preside hold the first glyphosate cancer case in federal court on February 25, 2019. It will be the first of over 600 cases that are in federal litigation to go to trial.

First Federal Trial Involving Roundup

courthouse1-300x189This lawsuit involves a California man who claims that his long-term exposure to Roundup resulted in him receiving large B-cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma. His exposure stems from using Roundup to control poison oak and weed growth on his property since the 1980s. The complaint was filed in February 2016, about one year after his cancer diagnosis in 2015. The lawsuit alleges that the Monsanto, Roundup’s manufacturer, failed to exercise with care with respect to testing, manufacturing, and marketing it. It also alleges that Monsanto was being deceptive by claiming that Roundup was as safe as table salt.

As you care for your little one, you should be mindful of everyday items in your home that can be a risk to their safety. Just because an item was made for babies, does not mean it is completely safe. Cribs and strollers can still be a safety risk to your baby. However, this means that you must use them in a safe manner.

  1. Strollers

Your baby’s stroller can be a significant risk to their safety. A Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) report estimates there were 13,400 reported cases of stroller-related injuries that required a visit to the emergency room. Many of these injuries were caused by a fall or strangulation. Between 2012 and 2014, an average of two children died per year from stroller-related accidents. Many stroller-related injuries or deaths occur when infants are left to sleep while the stroller’s back is in the recline position.

In my mind, the biggest update in the Roundup lawsuit is that there expected settlement value keeps rising.  Here is what else is happening.

$289 Million Verdict Update

courthouse1-300x189During a hearing on October 24th after the whopping $289 million verdict against Monsanto,  a California trial judge issued a ruling reducing the verdict.  This case, as you probably know if you are reading this, involved a man who was diagnosed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma a couple years after using Roundup several times a day while on the job as a school groundskeeper.  The judge reduced what was previously a $289 million settlement to $49 million.    The judge reduced the punitive damages to match the compensatory damages.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has been conducting a study on polyethylene glycol 3350 (PEG 3350), the active ingredient in MiraLAX, and its effect on a child’s brain. The study came about after reports that children have been experiencing behavioral problems after taking MiraLAX.

What is MiraLAX and how is it different?

MiraLAX is a laxative that. MiraLAX has branded itself as being different from other laxatives by having fewer side effects. The medication’s own website notes that it works with your body’s natural process to provide relief from constipation. It claims that working with the body prevents harsh side effects. This contrasts from stimulant laxative pills, which forcefully stimulates nerves in your colon.