May 4, 2017
A Missouri jury awarded $5.4 million to a 62-year old woman suffering from ovarian cancer after concluding that Johnson & Johnson’s talc powder caused her cancer. The woman argued that J&J turned a blind eye to studies linking its baby powder and Shower to Shower talc products to ovarian cancer and failed to alert customers of these risks — all to protect profits and “the company’s image.” An internal document introduced at trial revealed that the company knew its products increased the risk of this “highly lethal form of cancer” but nevertheless ignored recommendations to warn women.
Thousands of women with ovarian cancer have challenged the health-care giant in lawsuits across the country. At trial, J&J’s lawyers argued that J&J doesn’t need to warn women about talc because there is no link to cancer. According to one juror, “I felt that J&J was withholding information about its products that was vital to women – vital to women like me.” The jury awarded $5.4 million in compensatory damages and an additional $105 million in punitive damages.
Categorised in: Drug & Device
May 3, 2017
April 28, 2017
April 20, 2017
Twin Cities ABC-affiliate KSTP has aired the first in a three-part series of its findings following an investigation into retired players’ allegations in the NHL concussion litigation. The first installment focuses on the contradiction between the NHL’s internal discussions on the dangers of fighting, and its public statements that fighting enhances safety. KSTP’s report can be viewed here:
April 18, 2017
Minnesota Supreme Court grants further review of Appellate ruling on dormant accounts with large sums of money that the Minnesota Department of Commerce seized. Initially, this system was put in place in 1969 to protect inactive financial accounts and properties from financial institutions under the Minnesota Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act (MUPA). In 2015, the state had a reserve of $711.5 million in unclaimed property capital and has full discretion to use the money for any capacity. On January 23, 2017, the Appellate Court ruled that “MUPA does not create an unconstitutional taking and satisfies procedural due-process requirements.” Plaintiffs allege that Minnesota fails to provide adequate notice when it assumes custody and makes use of your personal property; and that the state owes interest on your cash when want to claim it back. A further review was ordered by Minnesota Supreme Court on April 18, 2017. Zimmerman Reed attorneys are working with a class to retrieve and return the money to their rightful owners.
Categorised in: Consumer Protection
April 13, 2017
The Seventh Circuit questioned arguments made by Hitachi-owned Waupaca Foundry Inc., asking the court to reverse a lower court’s order certifying a class of Wisconsin foundry workers. The workers’ claims were brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Wisconsin state law, asserting that Waupaca failed to pay workers for time spent at work changing in and out of protective clothing required to be worn at the foundry and showering at the end of the day to remove potentially dangerous chemicals to which they are exposed before they go home to their families.
As reported by Law360, Waupaca argued that the workers’ claims were far too individualized to allow a class action and that its 3,500 foundry workers should be forced to file their claims individually. At oral argument, Judge Richard Posner called Waupaca’s argument “ridiculous,” stating: “You can’t be serious in suggesting that the way to handle an issue of this sort is to sort them into individual suits.” The case was filed in 2008; this is the second time the case has been before the Seventh Circuit. In 2014, a Seventh Circuit panel overturned the lower court’s summary judgment ruling in the company’s favor. The workers—from foundries in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Tennessee—are represented by Gordon Rudd of Zimmerman Reed and Joe Snodgrass and Kelly Lelo of Larson King.
March 9, 2017
As reported by Law360, the home improvement retailer, Home Depot, agreed to pay $25 million to settle a class action involving a data breach that jeopardized the personal and financial information of 56 million credit and debit card holders. Zimmerman Reed represents financial institutions that will now qualify to recover financial losses in addressing and remediating this breach on behalf of their customers. The settlement also requires Home Depot to implement a system to strengthen its data security practices and reduce any future risks.
March 2, 2017
Earlier this year, the NHL requested that Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center release its research documents on the brain disease CTE, as reported by Law360. Former players allege the NHL minimized the harmful effects of head injuries for decades. Researcher, Dr. Ann McKee, expressed concern that the NHL may be trying to discredit the study on concussions—which has analyzed roughly 350 brains of former athletes. The Center argued that allowing the NHL access to these documents would violate the privacy of the patients’ families as CTE can only be diagnosed by an autopsy analysis of the brain. On February 22, 2017, the court overruled a request by the NHL for an expert’s annotated bibliography of a report with names of former players. Zimmerman Reed represents former players experiencing problems from their professional playing days.
February 3, 2017
In a report by Law360, patients allege that CVS/Caremark failed to keep Enbrel, an arthritis drug, at the proper temperature during shipment to customers. Enbrel is a biologic, which means it has to be kept at the correct temperature of 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit–or it may no longer work effectively. Zimmerman Reed represents Enbrel users that obtained these pharmaceuticals within the past four years. “Although Caremark is keenly aware of the specific temperature requirements, [it] does not have adequate policies and procedures in place to ensure that the specialty drugs are maintained within each drug’s required temperature range during storage and distribution such that it reaches end users with quality intact,” the lawsuit alleges. Out-of-pocket expenses for such a drug can exceed $40,000 a year.
January 27, 2017
Defective turf fields sold to schools, universities, and private companies around the country are falling apart and not lasting as long as promised. Zimmerman Reed filed a lawsuit on behalf of a company alleging that FieldTurf, the nation’s leading maker of artificial turf, knowingly sold and installed these defective turf fields across the country. Read the NJ Advance Media report on the lawsuit.
Categorised in: Sports Law