This Year in Review and to a Happy New Year!

3M
3M can’t avoid any part of its alleged liability in massive multidistrict litigation over injuries purportedly caused by its Combat Arms Earplugs, a Florida federal judge ruled, saying the company cannot shift the blame to its codefendant.  This came after 3M was denied a new trial earlier after a jury awarded a veteran Green Beret $50 million in his suit alleging the company’s Combat Arms earplugs gave him tinnitus and hearing loss, with a Florida federal judge ruling that the verdict is “substantially supported” by the trial evidence. 


Talc
A Los Angeles jury has awarded a 76-year-old woman and her husband more than $50 million in damages for the cancer she said she got from using Avon cosmetics containing asbestos-tainted talc, according to a pair of verdicts.  Consumers from across the country filed more than 100 lawsuits over the recalled devices.  


CPAP Foam
Philips RS North America LLC asked a Pennsylvania federal court to throw out the latest complaint in multidistrict litigation alleging the company sold faulty ventilators.  Consumers from across the country filed more than 100 lawsuits over the recalled devices.  The plaintiffs’ attorneys said the dismissal motions are without merit and should be denied.  “Philips knew about the serious health risks posed by its now-recalled CPAP, Bi-PAP, and mechanical ventilator devices as early as 2015, but failed to warn consumers or alert the proper authorities until years later,”.


Hernia Mesh
A Hawaii man won $4.8 million in a hernia mesh lawsuit.  Becton, Dickinson and Co’s C.R. Bard Inc subsidiary must pay the $4.8 million to Paul Trevino, who said he suffered serious complications after being implanted with the company’s hernia repair mesh.  The Rhode Island attorney who served as the lead counsel for Trevino said that he is “delighted by the verdict” and that “the jury system worked” for his client. Earlier in the year, an Ohio federal jury awarded $250,000 in damages to a man alleging injuries from a defective C.R. Bard hernia mesh patch.


Boy Scouts of America
A bankruptcy judge approved a $2.46 billion reorganization plan by the Boy Scouts of America. It will enable it to keep operating while it compensates tens of thousands of men who say there were sexually abused as children while involved in the Scouts.  The Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice called confirmation of the final approval of the plan historic for “tens of thousands of survivors of childhood sexual assault.”  Over 82,000 men have filed claims saying they were abused as children by troop leaders across the country.


These are just some of the cases worth looking forward to for the new year!

Happy New Year from CMTAS to you and your families!


We’ve have been finding people since 1983 and difficult mass tort clients since 2006.

CMTAS finds your clients and a phone number to reach them or their guardian.  We can also obtain their signatures and medical records!

Let’s have a call and see how we can expedite your cases,

Calif. Woman Awarded $50M In Talc Suit

A Los Angeles jury has awarded a 76-year-old woman and her husband more than $50 million in damages for the cancer she said she got from using Avon cosmetics containing asbestos-tainted talc, according to a pair of verdicts.

The jury found that Avon Products Inc.’s negligence in manufacturing its cosmetics was a substantial factor in causing harm to Rita Chapman, according to the first verdict.  The jury also found that Hyster-Yale Group Inc., the successor-in-interest to a forklift manufacturer, was partially responsible for her cancer.  It assigned 90% of the blame to Avon, and 10% to Hyster-Yale.

The jury awarded Chapman $32.8 million in compensatory damages and her husband an additional $8 million.  After that verdict was returned, a second phase of the trial commenced, and punitive damages were awarded.  According to that verdict, the jury awarded an additional $11.3 million in punitive damages.  Avon must pay $10.3 million of those while Hyster-Yale owes $1 million. (Law360)

Settlements are coming, let’s find all your missing clients!

We’ve have been finding people since 1983 and difficult mass tort clients since 2006.

CMTAS finds your clients and a phone number to reach them or their guardian.  We can also obtain their signatures and medical records!

3M Can’t Get Gov’t Contractor Immunity

A law firm recently hit a dead-end on a product liability case in which they had the correct and current contact information for their client, but she was completely unresponsive to their attempts to reach her by phone or by mail.  Puzzled, the lawyers turned to us for help.  

We launched a search and tracked down the sister of their client, who shed light on the seriousness of the situation:  The client was in the hospital recovering from a major surgery due to her various illnesses and not doing very well.  She had no spouse nor children, which meant her sister was her primary contact and kin.  We connected the lawyers to her sister, through whom the case was finally able to continue.

A South Carolina federal judge overseeing litigation over claims that firefighting foam contaminated groundwater said that 3M knowingly withheld information about the risks associated with so-called forever chemicals for decades, and denied its bid for a government immunity defense.

The government did not know the chemicals were present in the foam until 2000.  But for years 3M had carried out more than a thousand studies on chemicals such as perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, or PFOS, and their effects on human health and the environment that it did not disclose.

Fred Thompson of Motley Rice LLC, told Law360, “We have always believed the AFFF story is an egregious case of corporate malfeasance.  The actions of these defendants resulted in an ongoing man-made environmental disaster that is being addressed at great cost.  They have contaminated the environment and deceived the government and the public about it for decades.  They still deny this.”
 (Law360)

Cromwell Mass Torts finds your missing clients and a phone number to reach them or their guardian. We can also obtain their signatures or medical records!

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Lawyer Wins $4.8M Jury Verdict in Hernia Mesh Trial

A Hawaii man won $4.8 million in a hernia mesh lawsuit.  Becton, Dickinson and Co’s C.R. Bard Inc subsidiary must pay the $4.8 million to Paul Trevino, who said he suffered serious complications after being implanted with the company’s hernia repair mesh.  The Rhode Island attorney who served as the lead counsel for Trevino said that he is “delighted by the verdict” and that “the jury system worked” for his client.
 
The verdict came after a month-long trial, and BD is facing more than 30,000 similar lawsuits over its hernia mesh devices.
 
Mesh devices have been the subject of many legal challenges over the years, proving to be one of medical technologies greatest modern failures.  Pelvic mesh products in particular have caused a lot of trouble. (Reuters) (BizJournals)
 
Settlements are coming, let’s find all your missing clients!

CMTAS finds your clients and a phone number to reach them or their guardian.  We can also obtain their signatures or medical records!

We’ve have been finding people since 1983 and difficult mass tort clients since 2006.
 
Lets have a call and see how we can expedite your cases!

We Can Obtain Military Records For Your 3M Clients!

Your clients may be having trouble obtaining proof of military service; form DD214.  It can be a long process, exhausting and highly frustrating.  Most vets will be routed to the national archive free records request system.  It is a manual process that requires you to print, sign, stamp, and mail or fax a confusing application to the government and then wait weeks for your documents in the mail.  Vets can also try their luck with other avenues.  There are 100s of records repositories across the US.  But unfortunately, no matter which they try, too many requests are met with complications, long waiting periods or dead ends.
 
Most US military records are not yet digitized, and this has created a needle in the haystack situation.  Vets can’t count on their local national agent to go the extra mile to help them.  There are 51 separate agencies housing national guard records across 50 states and D.C.  But they don’t collaborate well, nor do they have access to records of all the army, navy, marines, air force, coastguards etc. simultaneously.  If the record you’re looking for is housed in one of these locations, you have to contact each location individually until you find the correct one housing your record.  If you reach out to a national agency requesting a record located elsewhere, you will simply get a letter asking you search elsewhere.  The process of attempting this task on your own is often fruitless and endless.
 
We have a team that is highly familiar with government protocol and procedure, as well as record retrieval.  We even physically stand in line at repositories, and also have a rapport with government personnel.
 
Once we locate your client, we will confirm their current phone number, back up contacts, home address and email.  We will also collect their signature and all the information required to obtain the DD214.  We can also help them obtain Proof of Injury.

Judge Approves Boy Scouts $2.46 Billion Reorganization Plan

CMTAS finds your missing clients and a phone number to reach them or their guardian.  We can also obtain their signatures or medical records!

A bankruptcy judge approved a $2.46 billion reorganization plan by the Boy Scouts of America. It will enable it to keep operating while it compensates tens of thousands of men who say there were sexually abused as children while involved in the Scouts.
 
The Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice called confirmation of the final approval of the plan historic for “tens of thousands of survivors of childhood sexual assault.”
 
Coalition representatives said in a news release : “The Court found that the BSA’s liability for abuse claims is most likely between $2.4 billion and $3.6 billion, and approved settlements that will provide for initial funding of $2.279 billion to survivors: $78 million from the BSA, $515 million from local councils, $30 million from the United Methodist Church, and $1.656 billion from settling insurers,”
 
Over 82,000 men have filed claims saying they were abused as children by troop leaders across the country. (AP News) (CNN)

Veterans Sue to Block 3M Health Care Spinoff Over Earplug Lawsuit Costs

CMTAS finds your missing clients and a phone number to reach them or their guardian.  We can also obtain their signatures or medical records!

3M UPDATE: After 3M announced plans to spinoff its healthcare business into a new public company, two US Military veterans sued the company to block the planned spinoff, which they called an illegal attempt to avoid compensating veterans for hearing damage caused by the company’s military issue earplugs. The veterans lawsuit states that the spinoff is merely an attempt by 3M to “wall off” assets, shielding them from being able to pay creditors, a violation of Florida law. The case is due to go before US District Judge, M. Casey Rodgers, who has already been harshly critical of the company’s legal strategy. 3M spokesperson Tamara Sander stated in an email “the suit is without merit and we will vigorously defend ourselves.” Ashley Keller, a lawyer for the veterans said in a statement: “Fortunately, the law does not allow companies to gift their assets to shareholders when doing so leaves them unable to pay their debts”. (Reuters) (Law360) (Bloomberg)

Bayer Rejects Global Roundup Settlement

CMTAS finds your missing clients and a phone number to reach them or their guardian.  We can also obtain their signatures or medical records!

ROUNDUP UPDATE: After its 5th consecutive trial win in the Roundup liability cases, Bayer AG will not settle on the tens of thousands of cases still pending, court documents show. Despite the company losing two appeals in connection with two multi-million-dollar verdicts in California earlier this year, Bayer has stated “Monsanto intends on defending itself in the litigation and will only consider resolving outstanding current cases and claims if it is strategically advantageous to do so”. Plaintiffs have asked the court to end the multidistrict litigation process(MDL) to allow remaining cases to go to trial, claiming that the MDL process “does not work” and that after two years the MDL program is “not advancing case resolution in a meaningful way”. Conversely, Bayer has said in a statement that it wants to keep MDL intact, and does not support a proposed settlement. (DTN/Progressive Farmer) (Law360)

Bankruptcy Court Won’t Shield 3M From Earplug Claims

Great News!

An Indiana bankruptcy court refused to temporarily shield 3M from hundreds of thousands of veterans’ claims that its earplugs caused them hearing loss, ruling Friday that the company couldn’t benefit from its subsidiary’s bankruptcy protections. (Law360)

Lahav of Cornell said 3M officials could try to set up a comprehensive resolution system — like the one created by Merck & Co in 2007 to settle cases over the withdrawn painkiller Vioxx. Under that settlement, clients submitted evidence of their injuries and were compensated based on how severely they were harmed. Or 3M could join the ranks of companies recently choosing to settle product-liability lawyers’ inventories of cases, such as Bayer in the Roundup litigation, she said.

“I think this is manageable for 3M, but somebody has to step up and chart their strategy going forward,” Lahav said. “Some mediator has to come in and see what kind of deal is workable.” (Bloomberg)

The time has come to find all your unresponsive 3M clients.  CMTAS will find them all or their Next of Kin or guardian. We are available 24/7!

More Than 20,000 Claims Axed In 3M Earplug MDL

The Florida federal judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation over allegedly defective 3M earplugs that harmed service members’ hearing dismissed claims brought by 20,000 veterans who failed to submit proof that they had served.

U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers said that the MDL has been pending for more than three years and, during that time, all veterans who wore the Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 earplugs during their service have been on notice that filing proof that they served in the military is “a fundamental” requirement in pursuing their claims.

Judge Rodgers dismissed the claims without prejudice. Active-duty plaintiffs and non-veterans have until June 6 to file a motion to reopen their cases, along with a statement about the status of their military service.

The MDL, consolidated in 2019, includes more than 280,000 service members and others alleging hearing damage as a result of using 3M’s CAEv2 earplugs, which they say were defective.

3M has argued that service members were allowed to flood the administrative docket with unvetted claims.

However, the judge has disputed 3M’s argument that a lack of filing fees and other filing requirements have allowed the administrative docket to be filled with frivolous claims. In an April order, she shut down 3M’s bid for an order to make more than 180,000 plaintiffs immediately pay filing fees, saying the fees were never waived, and there is no feasible way to accelerate payments as 3M requested.

So far, there have been 15 bellwether trials in the litigation, with six wins for 3M and nine for plaintiffs. The most recent trial ended with a $2.2 million verdict on April 29 to Jonathan Vaughn, who served a tour of duty in Iraq and has been using a hearing aid since 2012.

Judge Rogers has also ordered the parties to prepare nearly 1,000 cases for trial this year,

LAW360: https://www.law360.com/articles/1491488/more-than-20-000-claims-axed-in-3m-earplug-mdl