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Bridge Legal October Tort Roundup

on October 31, 2022

Our monthly roundup of the latest news and topics impacting your practice.

We know that providing your clients with the latest developments in tort cases is essential. That’s why we compile the highlights from our Tort Report newsletter so you can keep track of the latest news and topics impacting your practice.

Interested in receiving weekly tort updates? Subscribe to our weekly Tort Report here.

3M Co. earplug litigation currently represents up to 30% of the civil caseload in the U.S. federal court system.

With more than 230,000 U.S. military veterans currently pursuing 3M earplug lawsuits, alleging that they were left with hearing loss or tinnitus following the use of 3M’s Combat Arms earplug during military service, a new report suggests that the litigation represents up to 30% of the civil caseload in the U.S. federal court system.

Earlier this month, 3M Co. tried a bankruptcy court gambit to resolve about 230,000 combat earplug defect cases and lost. Shortly after, 3M Co. won permission to use a quicker-than-normal process to try to reverse a bankruptcy judge’s decision to allow the hundreds of thousands of lawsuits to go forward.

Claims on PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam picked up this month.

DuPont de Nemours Inc., the Chemours Co., and 3M Co. are among more than a dozen companies that produced firefighting foam with “forever chemicals” while knowing their connection to human health harms, according to complaints from the North Carolina attorney general. The lawsuits focus on perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), which were used in AFFF.

A northeastern Wisconsin town filed a lawsuit against Tyco Fire Products, as well as Johnson Controls, Chemguard, ChemDesign, and a list of 100 other unnamed “Doe” companies involved in the manufacturing and design of PFAS compounds. The suit alleges that more than 230 of the drinking water wells in the town of 3,800 residents have been heavily contaminated by the actions of Tyco and the other listed businesses that tested firefighting foam containing PFAS outdoors for decades.

The Department of Justice told a federal court in a statement that the federal government bears no liability for any alleged damage from the military or other federal users of PFAS-based firefighting foams.

A loophole in the federal government’s procedures for reviewing new chemicals has allowed at least 600 so-called forever chemicals into American markets despite evidence they post serious health risks, according to the petition filed last week.

Proceedings move forward for necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) lawsuits

Parties involved in the federal litigation against the maker of Similac and Enfamil baby formula have 66 necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) lawsuits, which will be eligible for a random selection process the Court will use to determine which claims will serve as the first bellwether trials.

As coordinated pretrial proceedings move forward in the federal MDL established for all lawsuits over necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) caused by baby formula, the U.S. District Judge presiding over the litigation has identified eight out of the 12 “bellwether” cases that will be eligible for early trial dates.

Watch our full webcast where I had the pleasure of chatting with attorneys Stephen Reck at Levin, Rojas, and Amelia Frenkel at Keller Postman to unpack their mass tort case against two leading infant formula manufacturers.

Acetaminophen claims have been assigned as MDL with new claims against retailers pending.

More than 80 claims alleging a link between the development of either Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and prenatal exposure to acetaminophen, have been assigned as an MDL to Hon. Denise L. Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

A federal judicial panel has created a new mass tort litigation for claims accusing Costco Wholesale Corp, Walmart Inc, and other major retailers of failing to warn that using acetaminophen, a popular pain and fever-reduction medication, during pregnancy can cause autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.

Interested in staying up-to-date on the latest in tort developments and upcoming webcasts? Subscribe to our Tort Report newsletter.

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