Bridge Legal April Tort Roundup

by Ed Scanlan on

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. Starting this month, we’ll 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. 

Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay pelvic mesh penalties and opioid settlement.

A California appeals court upheld a lower court ruling that Johnson & Johnson must pay penalties to the state for deceptively marketing pelvic mesh implants for women. J&J had appealed in 2020 after superior court judge Eddie Sturgeon assessed the $344m in penalties against the US pharmaceutical company’s subsidiary, Ethicon.

J&J also agreed to pay $99 million to settle claims by West Virginia that it helped fuel an opioid addiction crisis in the state, removing the company from an ongoing trial that began earlier this month. 

A corporate strategy that gained attention in the company’s spinoff’s bankruptcy continues to face uncertainty despite a refusal to dismiss the Chapter 11 case.

3M Co notched its sixth win in combat earplugs litigation as PFAS cases picked up.

Earlier this month, 3M won the latest bellwether trial in the massive multidistrict litigation over claims that its combat-issue earplugs cause hearing damage. The Florida federal court said that 3M allowing plaintiffs to bring “unvetted” claims in an administrative docket by submitting short forms without the typical filing fee of $402 per case has caused the MDL to “explode” into the largest in history.

The State of Illinois filed a lawsuit against 3M over alleged contamination at its plant along the Mississippi River and the Sixth Circuit will soon decide whether to weigh in on a class certification dispute that could set off a new wave of litigation to force chemical companies, including 3M Co. and Chemours Co., to pay for monitoring exposures to so-called forever chemicals.

New reports showed increased levels of PFAS in various packaging and products.

Following a recent report from Consumer Reports that found significant levels of PFAS, in several McDonald’s and Burger King packaging, three lawsuits were filed against the two chains. A new proposed class action alleges Knix Wear Inc. deceptively claimed its absorbent. Underwear maker Thinx Inc. faces a similar suit in the Central District of California.

The federal government and several states are in the process of regulating PFAS chemicals in food packaging. Businesses that manufacture or use food packaging can expect increased regulatory scrutiny, media attention, and possibly lawsuits over the next several years.

Product recalls for sunscreen, hand sanitizer and continued continued due to benzene levels.

A pair of hand sanitizers marketed to children were recalled as one contains cancer-causing benzene and the other contains methanol. Best Brands Consumer Products, Inc. announced this month that it was recalling lots of The Mandalorian Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 68%, available in green and blue formulations, and Mickey Mouse Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 68% in the blue formulation.

Consumer suits alleging Procter & Gamble Co. failed to disclose the presence of benzene in spray deodorants will be combined before a federal judge in Southern Ohio, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.

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

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