U.S. District Judge Approves $45 Million Roundup Settlement
A $45 million class-action settlement was just granted by the federal court presiding over tens of thousands of Roundup weedkiller personal injury lawsuits against Monsanto and its owner, Bayer AG.
The cases allege misleading advertising and failure to warn. The settlement, which settles a class-action case apart from the over 100,000 Roundup cancer multidistrict litigation (MDL) claims that have been settled and the roughly 30,000 MDL claims that are still pending, was approved by the U.S. District Judge late last month.
The world's most popular herbicide, Roundup, which contains the primary active component glyphosate, is said by the lead plaintiff to have the potential to cause health problems in users.
The court voiced hesitation about approving the settlement during a hearing on it in April due to its enormity and the potential for the confusion it would cause. Even the top end of the settlement offer, $45 million, according to him, could not be enough to cover all of the class members' claims for economic loss.
The court expressed worry that participants might not be aware they might still bring personal injury claims. Consumers still have the option to file a lawsuit against Monsanto if they later acquire non-lymphoma, Hodgkin's, which is thought to have been brought on by Roundup, as was not made explicit in an earlier version of the class notification.
Buyers would receive reimbursement for around 20% of the typical amount they paid for Roundup products under the false advertising settlement, which was filed in an Oregon U.S. District Court in 2019. The cost of each bottle of Roundup purchased was projected to be reimbursed at $10 at the April hearing.
The settlement applies to all glyphosate-containing herbicides made by Monsanto, including Ace Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate, HDX Weed & Grass Killer Ready-to-Use, and Roundup Ready-to-Use Weed & Grass Killer.
To participate in the class settlement, most receipts are not necessary. It will be necessary to submit receipts for more expensive glyphosate-based products in order to be reimbursed, and the application deadline is October 19, 2022. Early in the next year, there will be a final hearing on the settlement.
3M's Aearo Technologies Files Ch.11 To Settle Earplug Claims
In order to address the hundreds of thousands of claims of hearing loss resulting from flaws in Aearo's Combat Arms Earplugs, 3M stated it had filed its Aearo Technologies subsidiary for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Indiana.
According to 3M's announcement, it would set up a $1 billion trust to cover more than 230,000 claims for earplugs as well as claims for the discontinued Aearo mask and respirator devices.
The judgment will enable 3M and Aearo Technologies to resolve the earplug allegations in a manner that is more swiftly and fairly than the ongoing litigation, according to the CEO of 3M.
Thousands of military veterans and active duty personnel have filed a multidistrict lawsuit against the corporation in a federal court in Florida, claiming that the faulty CAEv2 earplugs that 3M and its subsidiary Aearo provided to the military between 2003 and 2015 caused their hearing loss.
The MDL court ordered the parties to mediation in June and rejected the company's plea to vacate an $8 million judgment in a bellwether trial last week. At least 10 of the first 16 bellwether cases resulted in victories for the plaintiffs, who received $300 million in total damages.
One of the plaintiff's lawyers claims that the MDL carries an exposure risk of more than $1 trillion. According to Aearo's Chief Restructuring Officer's Chapter 11 statement, the business has already spent over $347 million fighting the lawsuit.
The lawyer continued by saying that the business is also dealing with a lesser number of lawsuits alleging asbestos, coal dust, and other airborne pollutants injuries brought on by flaws in masks and respirators produced by Aearo. He said that as of this point, the company's accounting accrual for liability and defense expenditures is $41 million.
The documents state that 3M has agreed to provide $240 million for Chapter 11 expenditures and $1 billion to a trust fund that will be used to satisfy claims, with extra funds available if necessary.
Aearo argued in a different brief that settling the earplug claims under Chapter 11 would be more equitable for both the business and the claimants than continuing the MDL, which it claimed had devolved into a litigation vortex with unsubstantiated claims, disproportionate judgments, and a problematic bellwether trial procedure.
A scientific and data-driven estimation proceeding based on the facts will create the framework for stratifying and evaluating the viability and true value of the claims rather than keeping hundreds of thousands of claims in storage, each waiting for an uncertain chance to win a lottery verdict at trial.
The MDL and other lawsuits are halted by the automatic litigation stay given by a Chapter 11 filing, according to a complaint filed by 3M and Aearo on Tuesday. The proposed trust, according to the main plaintiffs' attorney in the MDL, is chronically underfunded, and the plaintiffs intend to fight the Chapter 11 filing.
Unlike Aearo, other businesses that were permitted to file for Chapter 11 to handle product liability tort claims, such as Johnson & Johnson talc unit LTL Management, had produced goods that may have contributed to long-lasting latency periods, such as cancer, opening the door to potential future claims. The bankruptcy court's ruling approving J&J's bankruptcy included reference to this futures problem. 3M does not make the same claim in this case.
Aearo, situated in Indianapolis, was acquired by 3M in 2008 after being formed in the 1940s as the American Optical Company, according to the Chapter 11 documents. It presently employs 330 people and has focused on noise, vibration, shock, and heat absorption materials for use in heavy machineries, such as commercial vehicles and airplanes, after terminating its earplug line in 2015. The restructuring and financial advisers for Aearo are PJT Partners and AlixPartners.
Teva Agrees On $4.35B Opioid Settlement
A $4.35 billion countrywide settlement offered by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries might end thousands of cases related to the drugmaker's claimed involvement in the U.S. opioid epidemic.
According to the plan, Teva would give state and local governments a monetary payment of up to $3.7 billion over a period of 13 years along with a donation of naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal medicine, valued at $1.2 billion. Teva, located in Israel, will also cover the legal costs spent by the states, municipal governments, and Native American tribes as well as pay almost $100 million to their respective tribes.
According to Teva's settlement proposal, state and local governments might choose more cash instead of receiving an allocation of the overdose medicine, valued at 20% of the drug's list price.
The settlement's monetary component is greater than what Teva's CEO proposed in May. Teva's CEO at the time informed analysts that he anticipated the business would shell out about $2.6 billion in cash and medication to secure a federal settlement.
The proposed payment comes as uncertainty around an opioid deal has caused Teva's New York-listed shares to decline 11% thus far this year.
Teva, which still owes around $20 billion in net debt, had hoped to strike a deal with more medications and less cash, but several states and counties objected, disputing the worth of the drugs since they were made for far less than the rates used in the settlement agreements.
It is an important step forward in tackling the opioid issue, according to the attorney general of Iowa, a leading state negotiator. He even stated that it is anticipated that this funding would have a substantial impact on treating opioid addiction disease and averting deadly overdoses.
The settlement with Teva depends on other agreements made by the Allergan division of AbbVie. In 2016, Teva purchased the generic medicine division of Allergan. Allergan must negotiate its statewide opioid settlement for the Teva agreement to go into force, and the two businesses must agree the amount Allergan owes Teva for claims made before the 2016 transaction. An inquiry for comments was not immediately answered by Allergan.
If insufficient numbers of state and local governments agree to accept the terms, the Teva settlement won't be finalized. The amount of the settlements that Teva has previously agreed to with West Virginia, Texas, Florida, Rhode Island, and Louisiana would be accounted for in the proposed $3.05 billion cash compensation.
The state of New York will not be a part of the agreement and will keep pursuing legal action against Teva. In December, a New York jury determined that the business was to blame for the state's opioid problem.
More than 3,000 lawsuits were brought by American states, towns, and counties against opioid producers, distributors, and pharmacies, accusing them of understating the risk of addiction and failing to prevent pill diversion for criminal purposes.
According to federal statistics, the U.S. opioid problem has resulted in more than 500,000 overdose fatalities over the previous 20 years, including more than 80,000 in 2021 alone.
In previous agreements, the company's desire on making medications a significant part of its opioid settlements proved to be a problem. State and local governments rejected Teva's 2019 proposal to resolve its statewide opioid liability for $250 million in cash and $23 billion in donated pharmaceuticals.
Counties Plan Funding Ahead Of Opioid Settlement Payout
Counties are planning in full swing to decide on how to invest the funds that would be received from the national opioid settlement, which would ease the nation's drugs crisis.
The general impression was that the counties are carefully considering how the cash may be distributed while also evaluating the cost of the programs they deployed to address the demands of the opioid crisis caused by prescription painkillers. The pandemic put a strain on county budgets for law enforcement, rehabilitation, the foster system, and the coroner's office. It was mostly driven by legal prescriptions for opioids that were advertised in a way that claimed they would not be habit-forming.
State and municipal governments will get $26 billion from the producers, distributors, and pharmacies engaged in the production of painkillers. The immediate past president of NACo stated that there are several ways in which the county is affected, including the overburdened 911 centre from calls and actions, police enforcement, ambulances, and all other life support systems.
The money is beginning to flow, but ARPA funds are often permitted costs for some of the issues that the counties are facing, so now is the ideal time for nature to unite and reveal what the county authorities will be doing over the next several months.
Along with helping counties create their plans for how they will spend their portion of the settlement, NACo has opened its Opioid Solutions Center, which will serve as a resource for counties as they fight addiction in their communities and as a guide for counties as they assess their needs and consider spending. In addition to providing case studies, the center includes a 15-page document on approved uses of the funds.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the center have a free helpline for counties to call for technical support. A national leadership network of 20–25 counties that are dedicated to combating the drug addiction problem in their communities will also be assembled by NACo.
CDC's Study Found Glyphosate In Majority Of Americans' Urine
According to recent research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of Americans had residues of the weed-killing chemical glyphosate in their urine.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a project of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, discovered glyphosate in 1,885 of 2,310 urine samples that were representative of the general population. Children between the ages of six and 18 made up about one-third of the samples.
The most frequently used herbicide in the nation, according to a toxicologist at the Environmental Working Group, glyphosate, has relatively little information on exposure up until this point. She went on to say that kids in the US are practically daily exposed to this cancer-causing weedkiller through the food they consume.
The widely used Roundup brand, which was acquired by German pharmaceutical firm Bayer when it acquired American agricultural juggernaut, Monsanto, in 2018, has the weed-killing substance as its active component.
The Supreme Court rejected Bayer's request last month to end hundreds of cases alleging that the weedkiller causes cancer. The justices of the high court upheld a $25 million verdict in favor of a California man who said that years of using Roundup on his property caused him to develop non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
A federal appeals court ordered the EPA to revisit its conclusions last month after the EPA determined in 2020 that glyphosate did not represent a severe health concern and is not likely to cause cancer in people. Nevertheless, Bayer has prevailed in four straight state court proceedings against plaintiffs who claimed that Roundup caused their cancer, with a recent decision going in its favor in Oregon.
Glyphosate has been labeled as possibly carcinogenic to humans by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer. Bayer, on the other hand, has defended its product. The CDC report, according to a company spokeswoman, further supports the minimal levels of glyphosate exposure experienced by people.