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What’s the Tort News?

Published: May, 2024. TV spend from multiple sources for a recent 30 day period.

If you have any questions, please contact Bails at bails@whitehardt.com

#1 Camp Lejeune – $4,308,000

Bringing the heat at the top of the chart once again is the Camp Lejeune mass tort, maintaining its dominant position with a month-over-month increase in TV ad spending of nearly 32%. 

Currently, the federal government is seeking proposed cases for a third track of bellwether trials. This new track will specifically focus on esophageal cancer, miscarriage, dental effects, hypersensitivity skin disorder, and medical monitoring unrelated to a specific disease. According to the status update filed jointly by the defendants and plaintiffs, “Given the number of claims that fall into each of these categories, the United States believes that including these claims in Track 3 can materially advance the litigation.”

At White Heart Legal, we welcome this progress and eagerly anticipate further advancements in this important mass tort.

CPL: $1,140
CPA: $2,280

Common Criteria: Injured party resided, worked, or was otherwise exposed to the water supply at Camp Lejeune (including in utero exposure) for 30 days or more (consecutive or nonconsecutive); AND exposure occurred between 1953 and 1987; AND injured party was diagnosed with one or more of the following injuries after exposure: Cancer (Bladder cancer, Breast cancer, Esophageal cancer, Kidney cancer, Leukemia, Liver cancer, Lung cancer, Multiple myeloma, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma), Female infertility, Hepatic steatosis, Miscarriage, Myelodysplastic syndromes, Neurobehavioral effects, Parkinson’s disease, Renal toxicity, Scleroderma.

#2 Mesothelioma – $2,880,000

Mesothelioma rebounded after many of the top torts saw a decline last month, and spending has surpassed the $2 million mark once again. This resurgence in advertising investment indicates a return to familiar spending ranges for this enduringly fiery tort.

The Draft Risk Evaluation for Asbestos Part 2, released by the EPA in April 2024, highlights the heightened risk faced by individuals engaged in occupations involving the demolition and removal of asbestos-containing materials, such as construction workers and firefighters. Furthermore, the report emphasizes children’s vulnerability to asbestos exposure, noting that the earlier an individual is exposed, the greater the risk of asbestos-related disease due to the latency period, which can extend up to 40 years.

For metrics such as CPA, CPL, and common criteria, please contact us.

#3 Paraquat – $449,000

Paraquat makes a notable reappearance to the top 3 of the Hot Tort Report this month, marking its highest TV ad spend of the year. 

However, amidst this flare in activity, a significant setback emerges as U.S. District Judge Rosenstengel dismisses four cases that were meant to go to trial. The dismissal is grounded in the determination that the expert witness, crucial for establishing the connection between Paraquat exposure and the plaintiffs’ medical conditions, was deemed unreliable and therefore excluded from the proceedings. 

Nevertheless, hope simmers as lawyers representing the plaintiffs are granted the opportunity to select new cases and secure a more credible expert witness. This fight is not over!

CPL: $1,200
CPA: $2,667

Common Criteria: Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease or experiencing Parkinson’s-like symptoms after exposure to Paraquat.

#4 Diabetes Meds for Weight Loss – $237,000

The mass tort involving Eli Lilly and other producers of weight loss drugs similar to Ozempic continues to maintain its explosive spending, consistently exceeding $200,000 for several consecutive months. The FDA has confirmed that more than 100 deaths could be linked to drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy, and women have begun reporting unexpected pregnancies–even with effective use of birth control–while on these drugs, something that may complicate the matter further in the future.

As litigation progresses, a key point of contention is likely to revolve around the sufficiency of the warning labels accompanying these drugs. The efficacy and adequacy of these warnings will be scrutinized closely to determine whether the manufacturers hold liability for the adverse effects.

CPL: $1,420
CPA: $2,840

Common Criteria:

  • Took a prescription diabetes drug for weight loss (e.g. Ozempic, Mounjaro);
  • Discontinued use of the drug; and
  • Experienced one or more gastrointestinal disorders at least 30 days after your first dose

#5 Hernia Mesh – $184,000

Hernia Mesh litigation takes the fifth spot in the May 2024 Hot Tort Report, with relatively moderate spend accompanying some unfortunate developments related to discovery. Despite being given ample time to prepare, years even, Covidien’s sluggish pace in collecting necessary information has resulted in a deadline extension, further impeding the progression of these lawsuits. 

Plaintiffs have been facing setbacks and obstacles for quite some time, and we are hoping these delaying tactics are extinguished in the near future, bringing progress to these proceedings.

Common Criteria: Hernia mesh surgery from 2000—current and suffered from one of the following: Perforation, Bowel Obstruction, Mesh Erosion, Mesh Contraction, Torn Mesh, Sepsis/Infection, Granuloma, Adhesion, Dehiscence that resulted in a removal/repair, scheduled or future.

For metrics such as CPA and CPL, please contact us.

#6 Fire Foam – $140,000

The Fire Foam tort is coming in hot this month, also boasting its highest spend of the year thus far. This gargantuan legislation continues to develop daily, with a recent development being Wisconsin-based Tyco Fire Products’ agreement to a monumental settlement of $750 million to address the impact of PFAS contamination on affected communities. 

This landmark agreement reflects the ongoing repercussions of PFAS exposure and serves as a significant step toward providing restitution and relief to those affected, but it is far from the end.

CPL: $1,750
CPA: $3,500

For criteria, please contact us.

#7 Roundup® – $134,000

Roundup® has experienced a notable shift after maintaining the third position on our report since the beginning of the year, cooling slightly this month. Recent developments reveal Bayer’s proactive efforts to influence legislation in three U.S. states—Iowa, Missouri, and Idaho—which could potentially shield it from future litigation related to Roundup®.

Bayer has been lobbying lawmakers to pass laws that would protect the company from cancer risk claims. We see right through this attempt to circumvent responsibility for the harms associated with Roundup®, which leaves affected individuals and communities caught in a frustrating cycle of legal battles and regulatory maneuvering.

CPL: $1,200
CPA: $2,000

Common Criteria: Exposed to Roundup® AND diagnosed with one of the following between 1998 and present at least 2 years after their first usage/exposure:

  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma or a specific type of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (ie. B-Cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma or Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia)
  • Lymphocytic Leukemia i.e. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) or Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)

#8 Infant Formula – $132,000

The Infant Formula tort, making a rare appearance in our top ten, has seen minimal activity since July of last year and hasn’t been featured in our report since December 2022.

In a recent, significant legal victory, a woman in Illinois was awarded $60 million after losing her baby to NEC attributed to the infant formula she was feeding. The award serves as a stark reminder of just how important it is to hold these manufacturers accountable for the harm caused to the most vulnerable members of our society. 

As advocates for justice, we believe in helping you fight for the rights of infants and their families affected by the negligent practices of infant formula manufacturers. Get in touch to learn more and let us help you connect to the parents who need you most.

Common Criteria: Premature child born after 2002, severe injuries related to diagnosis of NEC, was fed formula in hospital. Infant was fed cow-milk-based formula (okay if unsure of brand) AND was diagnosed with NEC in or after the year 2002. If not premature, infant was diagnosed with NEC within 3 months after birth AND had surgery.

For metrics such as CPA, CPL, and criteria please contact us.

#9 Chemical Hair Straightener – $128,000

TV advertising for litigation surrounding Chemical Hair Straightener products increased notably following a drop observed last month.

While the recent increase is promising, it falls short of the anticipated numbers that were prevalent last year and which we’ve been expecting given the far-reaching nature of this tort. As we continue to monitor this evolving landscape, the quest for accountability and justice remains paramount in addressing the harms associated with these products.

CPL: $430
CPA: $717

Common Criteria: Diagnosis of uterine cancer: endometrial cancer or uterine sarcoma; applied professionally or at-home application; used for at least 2 years AND usage must be at least 4 times per year; not currently a smoker.

#10 Takata Airbag Recall – $64,000

The Takata Airbag Recall makes a fiery return to the May 2024 Hot Tort Report, landing in the tenth position after months of minimal spending. This resurgence comes after a prolonged absence from our top ten list, with the last sighting reported in November 2023.

Recent developments have intensified the urgency surrounding the Takata Airbag Recall, with Subaru and Chrysler joining the ranks of auto manufacturers issuing recalls for hundreds of thousands of vehicles. Additionally, Ford finds itself embroiled in what has been deemed a “recall of recalls” as revelations emerge regarding faulty labor and incomplete repairs. 

The dangers here are severe, and it’s clear that many people are not out of the hot water just yet.

For metrics such as CPA, CPL, and criteria, please contact us.

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