Articles Posted in Products Liability

Our lawyers believe the AFFF lawsuits will reach a settlement in the near future.  No guarantees.  But that is our prediction.  We think many if not all defendants will offer reasonable AFF settlement amounts to firefighters in 2023.  This post is a look at where we are and gives an update below.  This post was last updated on May 16, 2023.

AFFF Lawsuit

Firefighting foam containing Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) has been used for decades to extinguish fires involving fuels and other flammable liquids.  Our firefighting foam lawyers are continuing to investigate and pursue new lawsuits on behalf of firefighters who have been diagnosed with various forms of cancer, such as testicular cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, lymphoma, leukemia or other injuries that have been linked to PFAS chemicals in AFFF.  The conventional wisdom is that AFFF class action lawsuits for firefighters may soon settle in whole or in part.

Hair relaxer lawsuits are a type of product liability lawsuit that alleges that hair relaxer products caused cancer or other health problems. Hair relaxers are chemical products that are used to straighten curly hair. They contain a number of harsh chemicals, including lye, which can be irritating to the skin and eyes. Some studies have linked hair relaxer use to an increased risk of cancer, including uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer.

Sister Study in October 2022

The first hair relaxer lawsuit was filed in 2017.  The litigation did not go far. That changed in October 2022. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute revealed a new study indicating a heightened risk of uterine cancer in women who frequently use chemical hair straighteners or relaxers. This was no small-time study done by small-time researchers.  The research was undertaken by specialists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and analyzed data from over 33,000 women participating in the extensive, long-term study focused on women’s health. It is called the “Sister Study.”

This post was originally written in 2008.  We do not know of any active Chantix suicide lawsuits that are pending in 2023.

What the Chantix Suicide Lawsuits Were About

Chantix (varenicline) is a prescription medication developed by Pfizer to help people quit smoking. It works by reducing nicotine cravings and blocking the pleasurable effects of smoking. It worked well and Pfizer was printing money from the sales of the drug.  However, since its approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006, Chantix was been linked to several serious side effects, including suicidal thoughts and behaviors, depression, and other neuropsychiatric issues.

Chief Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel, who is the judge in the Paraquat MDL class action lawsuit,  announced that the first Paraquat bellwether trial will start on November 15, 2022.

Is There a Paraquat MDL Class Action?

Paraquat-1-410x1024There is a Paraquat MDL class action.  This means that federal Paraquat lawsuits are consolidated into an MDL on June 8, 2021. The plaintiffs sued primarily Chevron and Syngenta. Their Paraquat lawyers alleged failure to warn and defective design. The plaintiffs claimed their exposure to paraquat caused them to develop Parkinson’s disease.

Elmiron is a very popular prescription drug used by millions for the treatment of chronic bladder problems.

These lawsuits will likely settle in massive numbers in 2023.  We believe the average settlement values of these lawsuits will be between $300,000 and $400,000 with some of the cases reaching high six figures and low seven figures.

We have the latest news on the Elmiron MDL lawsuit in this post and talk about the Elmiron settlement we expect to see in 2023.

The Maryland Daily Record reports that the Maryland Court of Appeals will hear a challenge to Maryland’s statutory cap on non-economic damages involving a lead paint case in Baltimore City.

I think it is interesting the Maryland high court granted cert in this case. I’m not optimistic. But boy would the landscape flip here if the Maryland Court of Appeals agrees these caps are unjust under Maryland’s Constitution.

Overlawyered has a blog post today about the reports of a high school pitcher suing his school district because he wore out his arm throwing 140 pitches in a single game. Here is the gist of the story from the Seattle Times: Seven years ago, Plaintiff was pitching against a rival school. He had no plans to take himself out of the game. In the eighth inning his mother, assuming you believe her story, told coach, “He’s at 117 pitches. He’s done.” (How many mothers out there are keeping exact pitch counts?) You know the rest of the story. The Plaintiff hurts his arm. He thinks he was the next coming of Roger Clemens… better make that Greg Maddux… and files suit claiming the coach should have pulled him out of the game.

Overlawyered and the Maryland Lawyer Blog agree that the possibility of a lawsuit causes people to act differently than they otherwise would. Where we disagree is whether, on balance, this is a good thing for society. For example, football coaches now know that depriving kids of water during practice is a bad thing and their doing so may expose the school to liability. In this area I think coaches already have proper incentive to do the right thing and this will only serve to exaggerate the risk of a “pitch count” lawsuit. Even if this is what I believe is the first lawsuit of its kind in this country. Obviously every baseball coach around the country is going to be talking about this and many are going to become worried about pitch counts.

Awareness of valid lawsuits properly encourages people (including doctors) to proceed with caution and to consider the risks that may cause harm. Frivolous lawsuits like this one have the opposite effect and are going to have some coaches – a small minority but still some – overreacting and limiting kids to ridiculously low pitch counts. But just as free speech requires us to tolerate hate speech, the search for justice requires us to tolerate some level of frivolous lawsuits. Whatever inertia this country has towards tort reform, it comes in no small measure from mainstream media and Internet reports (many of which are simply false) of ridiculous lawsuits.