What Happened In The MassTorts World Last Week? 2018-Nov-26

Thursday, Nov 22, 2018

In an order issued on November 19, Judge Catherine Blake of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland tossed 12 complaints filed over defects of Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing system, stating the statute of limitation expired on them. However, the Maryland  Judge allowed remaining cases to undergo the discovery process.

Earlier in June this year, the company sought to dismiss 55 BHR claims as time-barred among the 500 other cases consolidated in the federal MDL. In the lawsuits filed against Smith & Nephew, plaintiffs stated the friction between metal components of the hip system piles up metal debris in the joint and also the bloodstream. These complications often lead to patients resorting to device replacement. About 500 cases are pending in the federal MDL (MDL No.2775; In re: Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation) in the District of Maryland.

In another hip implant litigation, lawsuits continue to be filed involving complications over Stryker Hip Replacement system centralized before U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani under MDL No. 2768 – in Re: Stryker LFIT V40 Femoral Head Products Liability Litigation.


Wednesday, Nov 21, 2018

On November 20, agribusiness giant Monsanto filed a notice of Appeal in San Francisco Superior Court challenging the $78 million verdict in favor of a cancer-stricken California man who blamed the company's Roundup weed killer for his condition.

In August, plaintiff DeWayne Johnson, who was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) was awarded $289 million by a California jury. The amount was later slashed to $78 million last month by Judge Suzanne Bolanos. During the trial, doctors testified that Johnson (46) who worked as a pest control manager at a San Francisco Bay Area school district, has less than three years to live. Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in June continue to deny glyphosate's (an active Roundup ingredient) involvement in causing NHL. In a statement, Bayer asserted, “we continue to believe that the liability verdict and reduced damage award are not supported by the evidence at trial or the law". The company proclaimed many government regulators have earlier denied the connection between glyphosate and cancer.

Thousands of lawsuits are pending against Monsanto in California, Missouri, and Delaware state courts claiming glyphosate is carcinogenic to humans. Another California resident Edwin Hardeman’s case is the next to undergo trial in February 2019. A multidistrict litigation has been formed in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, overlooked by Judge Vince Chhabria.


Wednesday, Nov 21, 2018

On November 13, a California jury awarded $30.2 million to a former construction worker who was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused due to asbestos exposure, holding defendant J-M Manufacturing 45% liable for the disease.

The California Superior Court for Los Angeles County jury found that the defendant acted with negligence in warning plaintiff Norris Morgan about hazards of asbestos-containing transite pipe. Judge Maurice A. Leiter awarded Morgan $1 million in economic damages, $13.2 million for the pain and suffering; while his wife Lori Morgan was awarded $1 million for loss of consortium, and $15.2 million in compensatory damages. Apart from JMM, the liability was split among several other entities who were responsible for Morgan's asbestos exposure. During the three-week trial, the jury discovered that the transite pipe sold by the company was unsafe and Morgan was regularly exposed to asbestos while supervising workers who cut and beveled the transite pipe.

Reports of asbestos hazards have been around since the 1900s. Hundreds of lawsuits are filed on behalf of individuals who suffered mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure. Some of the mesothelioma lawsuits also blame talcum manufacturers for hiding asbestos presence in their products.


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