Articles Posted in Product Liability

A federal jury this week found that exposure to Roundup, the popular weed killer product, caused a California man to develop cancer.  How much money did they award?  They have not given an award because the case was bifurcated.  There will be another phase to determine damages.

In phase 2 of the trial in San Francisco, the jury determines Monsanto’s liability and decide how much money to award in damages. Hardeman v. Monsanto is the bellwether case for the Roundup MDL (what is an MDL?) which includes thousands of similar suits from federal courts around the country. The ultimate outcome of the Hardeman trial will dictate how the remaining Roundup cases are resolved and things are looking good for the plaintiffs so far.

The causation ruling in Hardeman comes on the heels of a landmark verdict in a Roundup case in California state court – Johnson v. Monsanto. That case ended in disaster for Monsanto with a verdict of $280 million for the plaintiff.

hernia mesh settlementsTo date, thousands of lawsuits related to defective hernia mesh implants have been filed in courts across the country. These suits claim that defective surgical implant devices were the cause of chronic pain, serious infections, obstructed bowels, perforated abdomen lining, and the development of adhesions. Some plaintiffs’ injuries were severe enough that they needed further surgeries to correct these issues.

The defendants in these lawsuits include, but are not limited to, Ethicon, C.R. Bard, and Atrium. The plaintiffs in these cases allege that the hernia mesh and patch implants were defectively designed which caused them to malfunction after being implanted in hernia repair surgery. At this point, none of these hernia mesh lawsuits have gone to trial or settled. However, an examination of prior settlements in similar cases suggests that hernia mesh plaintiffs can expect case values in the million dollar range.

What Is Hernia Mesh?

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Bair Hugger MDL Coming Soon?

The Bair Hugger lawsuits are going poorly for plaintiffs.  Should you bring a claim if you believe you suffered an infection from a Bair Hugger during surgery?  Decide for yourself.  But in spite of some early punches to the face for plaintiffs, there is a still a reasonable chance these cases end well for plaintiffs.  Let’s talk about these cases, what there are, where they are going, and what are the prospects that the 3M Bair Hugger cases reach a settlement.

What These Bair Hugger Cases Are About

A Bair Hugger device is a temperature management system that is used during surgery.  The purpose of the invention is to help the body regulate the appropriate temperature. The Bair Hugger pushed hot air through a hose into a blanket specially made to work with the device. The hot air produced by Bair Hugger accumulates under the surgical drape covering the patient.  This hot air escapes under the surgical drape below the level of the surgical table or over top of it

 

Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Device is designed, manufactured, and marketed by Defendants 3M Company and Arizant Healthcare, Inc. There are more than 50,000 Bair Hugger FAWs in the United States.

How does it work? The Bair Hugger is a portable heater/blower connected by a flexible hose to a blanket, typically positioned the patient getting surgery.

Keeping a patient warm is particularly useful during knee and hip replacement surgery because the procedures tend to be very long.   The body loses heat increasingly over the course of surgery.

Another thing about metal hip and knee replacement surgery is that your body is particularly prone to infection. Why?  The metal helps spread the infection.

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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.  Does this mean 3M did certainly did something wrong?  No.  But where there is smoke there is usually fire.

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 you on the Taxotere class action (MDL) lawsuits.

Taxotere is a chemotherapy drug used to treat a number of cancers, especially breast cancer. Taxotere is a taxanes.  Taxanes are diterpenes produced by the plants of the genus Taxus that have a taxadiene core. Taxanes are widely used as chemotherapy agents.

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.

MirenaIUD

Mirena Lawsuits Gearing Up for Trial

There is a lot of confusion out there about Mirena lawsuits.  Women are confused that there are so many lawyers in 2018 looking for Mirena cases yet they cannot find a lawyer for there case.   If you are frustrated, I completely understand.  Let me try to explain because there are not a lot of good explanations out there online.

When these lawsuits began, plaintiffs’ lawyers filed thousands of Mirena lawsuits.  The focus in the litigation was:

  1. What Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals knew about the risks associated with IUDs in general and, specifically, with Mirena?
  2. Why didn’t the company do a better job of communicating the risks of uterine perforation and migration?
  3. What Bayer tried to do to make its IUD as safe as possible?
  4. Were profits the motive to avoid making the warning clearer?

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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.

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.