The scale of a personal injury case can vary wildly. Most attorneys take cases on behalf of individual clients whose cases can be closed within a matter of months. But some attorneys specialize in mass torts involving dozens or hundreds of afflicted persons. These cases often concern the negligence of large corporations or government bodies, whose undercooked products and irresponsible policies can harm millions. Given their size, seriousness, and level of complication, it’s not uncommon for these suits to stretch on for years at a time. Today’s blog post will be covering several mass torts expected to see progress in 2023.
Given our previous coverage of the Camp Lejeune water contamination scandal, an update on this ongoing tragedy would seem an appropriate place to begin our mass tort roundup. The full story can be found on our blog, but in brief; ill-considered dumping of hazardous chemicals at the US Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune led to contamination of the drinking water at the base. This policy continued for decades and eventually affected thousands of USMC personnel as well as their families living on base. After the recent federal passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, the number of claimants joining the mass tort has steadily increased. If you or a loved one was stationed at Camp Lejeune between the 1950s and the 1980s you may be able to file a claim. Don’t wait to seek justice. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows new claimants through August 2024.
Another ongoing mass tort that may be of interest to current and former US military personnel concerns 3M earplugs. As of 2021 this suit had become the largest consolidated mass tort in US history with an eye-popping 272,416 individual lawsuits. These earplugs’ defective design has led to chronic tinnitus (ringing ears) and hearing loss for those affected. This case has already seen positive progress, with $300 million in total damages awarded to 14 plaintiffs.
A large number of mass torts concern dangerous drugs. This may bring to mind untested medications for rare or severe conditions. But a new mass tort concerns a drug many of us take regularly: Tylenol (or generic Acetaminophen). Now, before you dump your Tylenol down the drain; the average consumer has no need to fear. Taking a Tylenol next time you have a headache won’t adversely affect you. But if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, acetaminophen use is unsafe.
According to a major medical journal, acetaminophen use by pregnant women can read to higher rates of autism in their children. These findings have spurred a wave of 2022 lawsuits filed by parents of autistic children against companies like CVS, alleging that acetaminophen use during their pregnancy led to their children’s disability. These cases have been consolidated into a new class action suit in the southern district of New York.
Another dangerous drug suit centers around the daily heartburn medication Zantac, which was subject to mass recalls after it was found to contain dangerous levels of the human carcinogen NDAM. There are 2,000 Zantac lawsuits pending with another 70,000 claims that have yet to file. New suits continue to be filed at a steady pace.
Perhaps one of the most well-known mass torts is Johnson and Johnson’s ongoing Talcum Powder case. Despite appearing innocuous, it’s alleged that use of this product around private areas by women can lead to the talc remaining in their system for extended periods of time and promoting the growth of ovarian cancer cells. J&J has already paid $100 million to resolve a large bloc of talcum powder lawsuits, but we have yet to see a definitive resolution to thousands more pending cases.
These are just a handful of the mass torts seeing new developments, settlements, and filings every day. Those interested in further reading may wish to familiarize themselves with ongoing litigation surrounding:
If you or a loved one has been injured by one of the products listed above, Malloy Law Offices encourages you to get legal help as soon as possible. While we are not involved with litigating these cases ourselves, we still pride ourselves on empathy for the injured, and hope that the various mass torts result in prompt and just settlements. We hope as well that our readers strive to inform themselves of these wide-reaching legal developments which affect everyone. You can find more mass tort news on our blog.