Bridge Legal November 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. 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. 

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Acetaminophen litigation moves forward with leadership team.

Plaintiffs lawyers Mikal Watts, Ashley Keller and Mark Lanier will spearhead a leadership team of 22 lawyers alleging that prenatal use of Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, caused autism and ADHD in children. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, in New York’s Southern District, who is overseeing the Acetaminophen multidistrict litigation, granted approval of the leadership team on Wednesday.

New concerns over prenatal exposure to Roundup.

Researchers with the Indiana University School of Medicine and the University of California San Francisco warn that prenatal exposure to the active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, during the first trimester increased the risk of low birth weight and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) admission. 

In current cases, plaintiffs who claim the Roundup weedkiller caused their cancer had withdrawn a request for court approval of that $1.25 billion section of the settlement deal. “The withdrawal will enable the parties to more comprehensively address the questions” raised by Judge Vince Chhabria, Bayer said.

Bellwether trial to begin after March 2024 for Similac and Enfamil lawsuits.

Lawyers representing hundreds of families nationwide who are pursuing Similac lawsuits and Enfamil lawsuits, involving allegations that the baby formula manufacturers’ failed to warn about the NEC risk for preterm babies, have proposed a pretrial schedule that would prepare the first “bellwether” cases for trial to begin after March 2024.

The U.S. District Judge presiding over all 12 NEC lawsuits filed against infant formula manufacturers has approved the use of a Plaintiff Fact Sheet, which will be completed for a small group of “bellwether” claims that are being prepared for early trial dates in the litigation.

Dry shampoo products found to have high levels of benzene.

An independent laboratory and healthcare research group found elevated levels of the cancer-causing chemical benzene in the majority of tested samples from several dry shampoo brands. In a new study, Valisure said 70 percent of the samples it tested contained elevated levels of benzene, with some reaching up to 170 times the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) limit of 2 parts per million (ppm).

A new class action lawsuit says a dry shampoo sold in the U.S. actually had “dangerous” levels of benzene in it. A 27-page lawsuit says dry shampoo products by Not Your Mother’s brand, including Beach Babe, Clean Freek, and Plump for Joy, expose consumers to “high levels of acutely toxic” benzene.

Procter & Gamble (P&G) agreed to pay $8 million as part of a settlement to resolve claims its aerosolized products contain benzene. Consumers do not need to provide proof of purchase in order to benefit.

State cases against PFAS and AFFF foam companies grow. 

A lawsuit brought by the state of North Carolina was removed to federal court. With the lawsuit, North Carolina became the latest state to file a PFAS environmental remediation lawsuit against manufacturers of certain PFAS and PFAS-containing aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF). The lawsuit targets PFAS manufacturers, PFAS distributors and AFFF manufacturers and suppliers.

California is now suing 18 companies over “staggering” damage caused by manufacturers of PFAS. The suit was filed after a two-year-long investigation of consumer and environmental law violations and is the first statewide legal action of its kind as it targets a variety of PFAS sources, such as wastewater treatment plants and landfills.

Airports and other places that rely on PFAS-enabled foams to fight fires should start to prepare to manage the wastes they’ll generate by switching to non-PFAS alternatives, attorneys and consultants say. Congress ordered the Pentagon to release requirements for firefighting foams made without PFAS by the end of January.

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