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law firm 303 articles

Lawyer Caught Selling Sealed Whistleblower Suit Pleads Guilty

A former Washington D.C. law firm partner pleaded guilty last week to charges that he attempted to sell copies of sealed whistleblower lawsuits that he took with him before leaving his job at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Jeffrey Wertkin, 41, was arrested in the lobby of a Cupertino, California, hotel in January when he showed up to make an illegal transaction wearing a disguise. Mr. Wertkin had arranged to exchange the sealed whistleblower lawsuit for a duffel bag of cash with an undercover FBI agent. According to Reuters, court records show that Mr. Wertkin pleaded guilty in federal ... Read More

Judge upholds $110 million talc verdict, plaintiff proves jurisdiction

We previously reported that the estate of talc plaintiff Jacqueline Fox asked a Missouri court of appeals to reconsider its decision to overrule the $72 million verdict against Johnson and Johnson which was awarded last February. The appeals’ court’s decision was based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bristol Myers Squibb ruling from this June, which changed the standards for establishing personal jurisdiction for plaintiffs filing out of their home states. The estate of Alabama resident Fox contested that they should be allowed to re-argue for jurisdiction under the new law, as they have new evidence establishing personal jurisdiction in Missouri. ... Read More

More lawsuits claim injuries with Ethicon’s Physiomesh

In June 2017, 18 lawsuits alleging serious injuries from Ethicon’s Physiomesh used for hernia repair were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation in the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta. Since then through mid-August, the number has grown to 92, and the MDL is expected to continue to grow as more people learn about the serious risks of Physiomesh. Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Ethicon Inc. obtained Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh in April 2010. Since then, the agency has received hundreds of adverse event reports. Reported complications include hernia recurrence, mesh migration, fistulas, mesh ... Read More

Judge says there will be talc trial in St. Louis this month

The next Missouri talc trial will move forward this month over defense objections, as determined by the Missouri Circuit Court for St. Louis City in a hearing held on Sept. 18, reports HarrisMartin Publishing. These talc cases center on allegations that Johnson and Johnson’s talc-containing products can cause ovarian cancer with prolonged use in the genital area. There have already been five completed trials in St. Louis with four plaintiff wins totaling verdicts of more than $300 million. In June, more than two weeks into trial, the sixth Missouri talc ovarian cancer case to go before a jury was declared ... Read More

Is Equifax Lying About its Executives’ Share Sell-off?

Just days after Equifax discovered its databases had been accessed by hackers, its chief financial officer and two other top executives unloaded company shares worth about $1.8 million combined. Equifax discovered the data breach July 29, about six weeks after hackers broke into the company’s website and started harvesting the personal and financial information of about 143 million U.S. adults. Hackers obtained sensitive consumer information, including names, social security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, and driver’s license numbers. Additionally, the credit card numbers for 209,000 consumers were stolen and the personal information used in disputes for about 182,000 people was ... Read More

Hair loss stories from everyday women bravely speaking up

In honor of August being National Hair Loss Awareness Month, TODAY addresses an important issue that isn’t often discussed — female hair loss. The month is set aside to help raise awareness of a condition that deeply impacts the emotions and self-esteem of both men and women, but for women it can be more difficult as our culture is less accepting of female hair loss. “For a man to have a bald head or even a shaved head, it’s so common. For women, there’s still a lot of social stigma to it and it’s tougher to accomplish that confidently,” Dr. ... Read More

$417 million verdict in 1st CA talc ovarian cancer trial

The four-week long trial in California, the first talc ovarian cancer trial in the state, has concluded with an attention-getting verdict of $417 million, $110 million more than all four of the previous Missouri verdicts combined. Over the last year and a half, Johnson and Johnson has faced some huge product liability losses due to allegations that its talc-containing products cause ovarian cancer. Four St. Louis juries found in favor of plaintiffs, agreeing that the company should have warned women of ovarian cancer risk. The verdicts totaled more than $300 million: $72 million in February of 2016, $55 million and ... Read More

Use cosmetics with care; labels don’t warn of chronic side effects

The Deccan Chronicle warns readers that cosmetics, not being drugs, are not governed by any regulatory body. In a recent article the publication points out that although some cosmetics may warn about reactions with the skin and eyes, cosmetic products often have dangerous chronic side effects that are not mentioned in their labeling. One very public example of this is the some 4,800 lawsuits currently filed in the U.S. against the world’s largest health care company, Johnson and Johnson, over allegations that it’s talc-containing products such as Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower cause ovarian cancer. The talcum powder when ... Read More

California jurors hear scientific data talc causes cancer

On July 26, jurors in California heard opening statements in the much-anticipated first California talc trial against Johnson and Johnson over allegations that its talc-containing products, such as Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, cause ovarian cancer. Allen Smith of The Smith Law Firm, who represented plaintiffs in all six of the Missouri talc trials, said that Johnson and Johnson, aware for decades of the research linking genital talc use to ovarian cancer, failed to warn the public. “It’s the safe and gentle corporate image of a mother and baby that the defendants are placing over human life, in ... Read More

Class action filed for victims of Wells Fargo auto insurance scheme

Another Wells Fargo scandal erupted in recent days following a New York Times report that the San Francisco-based bank enrolled more than 800,000 of its auto loan customers in unneeded car insurance policies without their consent. The dust barely began to settle on a series of previous Wells Fargo scandals – mortgage fraud that contributed to the 2009 financial crisis, sham credit card and deposit accounts, mortgage rate-lock fraud allegations, and whistleblower retaliation – when news broke July 27 that the bank defrauded its own auto loan customers. Wells Fargo and National General Insurance Company allegedly stole millions of dollars ... Read More