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First Roundup trial in MDL will be split into two phases

The first three bellwether trials in a multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California blaming an ingredient in the weed killer Roundup for causing cancer will be split into two phases. The first phase of the trials will focus on whether the ingredient glyphosate caused the plaintiffs’ cancer and, if so, the second phase will proceed to determine Bayer’s liability. The order was handed down by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, granting a request by Bayer to separate the issues in the case of Edwin Hardeman. The order will apply to Hardeman’s bellwether trial, ... Read More

PG&E Could Be Tried for Murder for Wildfires, Attorney General Says

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), California’s largest utility, may be charged and tried for murder or manslaughter if investigators find it operated its equipment in a “reckless” manner that sparked the deadly wildfires that swept through the state in 2017 and 2018, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra told a federal judge. The Attorney General’s statement about the besieged utility, which faces monumental lawsuits and fines stretching back to the 2010 San Bruno gas explosions that killed eight people and injured several others, was submitted to a federal judge in a legal brief last month. According to The Sacramento Bee, Attorney General ... Read More

Woman blames J&J talcum powder for her ovarian cancer diagnosis

Krystal Kim’s ovarian cancer was found by chance, during a minor surgery. She had no symptoms like bloating or pain. “That’s why it’s known as the silent killer,” she told The Philadelphia Tribune.  She underwent six rounds of chemotherapy before going into remission. When the cancer returned, she had a hysterectomy and had parts of her colon and intestines removed. That’s when she randomly took a quiz on social media asking if she had ovarian cancer and had she ever used talcum powder on her genitals for personal hygiene. She said yes to both. Then she was contacted by attorneys who ... Read More

Investigation reveals another sexual harassment settlement at CBS

A deeper look into CBS Corporation by attorneys hired by the Board of Directors in the wake of CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves’ departure amid sexual harassment allegations has revealed another cover up. In March 2017, actress Eliza Dushku, who was in line to be a major cast member in the CBS prime-time drama “Bull,” accused the show’s star Michael Weatherly of retaliation after she confronted him about his lewd behavior on the set. After mediation with the company, CBS agreed to a confidential settlement that would pay Dushku $9.5 million – about as much as she would have made ... Read More

Sexual harassment allegations may cost former CBS CEO severance

Former CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves, who left the company under a cloud of sexual misconduct allegations, may not get the $120 million severance package he was expecting. Attorneys hired by the network to investigate the claims say they have enough evidence to show that CBS has grounds to deny payment to the former executive. According to a draft report acquired by The New York Times, Moonves destroyed evidence and lied to investigators, essentially violating the terms of his employment contract. “Based on the facts developed to date, we believe that the board would have multiple bases upon which to ... Read More

Second mistrial in case alleging J&J talc caused rare cancer

The second jury charged with deciding whether Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products were tainted with asbestos and caused a woman’s rare cancer, ended in a deadlock. The news rang eerily similar to the first trial in the case of the late Bertila Boyd-Bostic. It ended in May with a hung jury as well. Boyd-Bostic and her surviving husband and former law partner, Antoine Bostic, brought the case against Johnson & Johnson shortly after Boyd-Bostic was diagnosed with mesothelioma in the spring of 2017. She died October 2017. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer is caused by asbestos exposure. ... Read More

Court reinstates railroad worker’s emotional distress claims against employer

A railroad worker identified only as M.M. claims she was exposed to toxic diesel and exhaust fumes while on the job, and though medical testing didn’t reveal she suffered any health issues from the fumes, she claims the incident caused emotional distress and filed suit against her employer, Port Authority Trans Hudson Corp, according to the New Jersey Law Journal. M.M. says that as a signal designer for Port Authority, she was overcome by the dangerous fumes while working in a railroad tunnel in December 2012. She fainted and was taken to the hospital. A CT scan didn’t reveal any ... Read More

Judge discourages individual screenings of potential Roundup jurors

Monsanto shouldn’t individually screen jurors “as if it were a death penalty case,” for two upcoming bellwether trials involving consumer claims that its herbicide Roundup caused their cancer, a California judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation (MDL) said. Instead, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria suggested that the parties screen a pool of about 500 potential jurors to see if they were able to commit about a month of their time to sit for the trials, and that the parties come up with questions that the court could send the potential jurors before questioning them as a group. Attorneys for Monsanto raised ... Read More

J&J agrees to settle many Invokana side effects lawsuits

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to settle a large number of lawsuits pending in a multidistrict litigation in New Jersey accusing the company’s diabetes drug Invokana of causing kidney failure, diabetic ketoacidosis or amputations, according to the New Jersey Law Journal. A settlement fund is expected to be ruled on by Nov. 19. It’s unclear how many of the more than 1,000 cases are included in the settlement, but attorneys say more settlements are likely. Bellwethers from the multidistrict litigation were set to go to trial as early as January 2019, but those orders were ... Read More

J&J settles lawsuit alleging Risperdal caused boy to grow breasts

Johnson & Johnson and its unit Janssen Pharmaceuticals have agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by a Mississippi family that claimed the companies’ antipsychotic drug Risperdal caused their son to develop breasts, a disfiguring condition known as gynecomastia, according to Law360. The announcement came just days before the case was slated to go to trial in Pennsylvania state court. The settlement follows a Superior Court ruling in January during which a global order barring punitive damages on gynecomastia claims with Risperdal in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas was upended. Suddenly faced with the potential of  punitive damages, Johnson ... Read More