It has been several weeks since word spread that Bayer AG had agreed to a $10 billion settlement agreement with Roundup cancer victims. But shortly after that announcement was made came word that the judge in the case had rejected the plan, noting several shortcomings in its terms. This week the settlement grew closer to reality as three major law firms representing thousands of plaintiffs have announced that a new deal’s terms are acceptable to them.
There are more than 100,000 Roundup cancer victims who have filed claims against Bayer AG and their subsidiary Monsanto, which manufactures the popular weedkiller. The initial agreement that was reached had only been agreed to by two of the major law firms representing those victims, with three others filing memorandums of understanding but no final agreements. This past Monday those firms each filed notifications of the deals with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Questions Remain Regarding Future Roundup Cancer Claims
One of the biggest issues that had stymied the initial agreement centered on the disposition of future Roundup cancer claims. The popular herbicide has been accused of causing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in many of those who are exposed to it, and though the company denies responsibility for these illnesses and deaths, their denials do not address the untold numbers of people who may yet be diagnosed with the disease in the future. Individual personal injury lawsuits against the company have resulted in over $2 billion in jury verdicts, and the company indicated that if no national settlement could be agreed they would be forced to file for bankruptcy.
Though Bayer wants to force future Roundup cancer cases to be delayed by four years to allow a “science panel” to issue a judgment on the product’s role in the development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria rejected that idea. It remains to be seen how the new settlement agreements resolve the issue.
Despite initial indications of a settlement had been reached in litigation surrounding Roundup weed killer and its role in causing cancer, the judge in the case is now indicating that the agreement is in jeopardy after plaintiffs’ attorneys accused the company of going back on its promises.
At issue is an $11 billion deal that had been promised to 125,000 Roundup cancer victims. According to U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, there are concerns that the process was manipulated. Saying, “My concern is that if I leave the stay in place, am I complicit in whatever shenanigans are taking place on the Bayer side?” he now questions whether the company was truthful in its assertions throughout the process. He plans to revisit the question of whether to let litigation proceed or keep it on hold.
Some Roundup Cancer Settlements May Proceed While Questions Are Addressed
While some Roundup cancer victims are quietly moving forward and settling their cases, those who want to return to the court system will remain on hold until Judge Chhabria makes his decision. Much of what is at issue has to do with how future lawsuits that have not yet been filed will be resolved. Roundup’s attorneys are maintaining an upbeat position, releasing a statement that read in part, “A mass tort settlement of this size and complexity can take significant time before it is fully executed, and we are still early in this process. There are often some bumps in the road in implementing a resolution of this magnitude, but we remain confident that a comprehensive settlement will be finalized and executed.”
But attorneys for Roundup cancer victims take a less positive outlook, having told the judge
“there is no settlement” after finding that many of the terms that had been agreed to may not have been authorized or have been reneged on. He and other plaintiffs’ attorneys sent the judge letters detailing what has been happening, and Judge Chhabria has indicated that he may release the contents of those letters, saying that if the weed killer’s manufacturer is “going back on its deal and the deal it announced in June, that seems to me something that should not be kept confidential.”
One year ago, Piper Johnson’s mother Ruby spoke out against JUUL e-cigarettes, recounting the story of having to take her daughter to the hospital while on the way to dropping her off for her freshman year at college. Now Piper is speaking out for herself. She has filed a lawsuit against JUUL, accusing the company of failing to warn her of the risks posed by their e-cigarette product, of practicing deceptive business practices and of being responsible for the lung damage that she suffered after becoming addicted to the product.
It is one of many lawsuits that have been filed against the San Francisco-based company that sells the JUUL e-cigarette. Piper’s case details her own road to addiction to the products, explaining that she had begun using them when she was only 16 and that she’d had no idea that she was exposing herself to products that contained nicotine.
Addiction to JUUL E-Cigarette Led to Chronic Lung Problems
According to Piper’s claims, after using and becoming addicted to the JUUL e-cigarette, she began experiencing significant troubles with breathing, leading to her eventually detour from the road to college to a Colorado hospital emergency room. She was diagnosed and treated for “acute hypoxic respiratory failure” and after receiving critical care, she was told that her lungs had suffered significant damage.
Miss Johnson’s claim details the impact of the JUUL e-cigarette’s “high quantity, rapid nicotine delivery system” and her own reliance on the misrepresentations that she says the company made. She says that JUUL “intentionally downplayed, misrepresented, concealed and failed to warn of the risks of nicotine exposure and addiction that the products posed,” and also accuses them of violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. She says that the product has created “a generation of adolescents into addicts, constantly craving the next hit off their JUUL.”
Two separate personal injury lawsuits were filed against Johnson & Johnson, Bayer and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA by women who claim that they suffered Elmiron vision loss after having taken the prescription medication for years. Both women had been put on the drug by their physicians as a treatment for a painful bladder cyst condition known as interstitial cystitis, and both are now suffering from impaired vision.
The two plaintiffs are Clara Johns and Shirley Ruth Levy. Both cite retinal damage, distorted and blurred vision, toxic maculopathy, and other Elmiron vision loss issues, and both accuse the company of having been aware of the dangers posed by the drug and failing to warn them or their physicians. Their complaints read in part, “Despite study after study providing clear evidence of the dangers of PPS, defendants failed to adequately investigate the threat that PPS poses to patients’ eyes and vision or warn patients of the risk that they would suffer retinal injury and vision impairment.”
Drug Companies Knew of Risk of Elmiron Vision Loss
According to their complaints, the drug manufacturers were aware of studies indicating the risk of Elmiron vision loss decades ago, but instead of pointing to the potential problem as other drug manufacturers have, they did not mention it on their packaging, thus preventing patients from having the opportunity to choose whether to take a risk or not.
Research into the way that the companies first submitted the product for FDA approval reveals that they had no real understanding of the way that it works on the body, an indication that they were negligent in their testing process. The companies have acknowledged that they do not understand why the medication relieves the pain of interstitial cystitis, but believe that it coats the epithelial cells in the bladder. They also admit that only a small percentage of the drug ends up in the bladder, with the balance often absorbed into other epithelial cells, including the ones that coat the retina and could potentially impact vision.
As hundreds of people continue to file Zantac cancer claims against GlaxoSmithKline, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals and others who made and sold the popular heartburn drug and it generic forms, consumers who have been diagnosed with cancer are increasingly wondering whether their illness might have been caused by the medication and whether the companies were aware of its risks. Zantac’s prescription and over-the-counter versions were both pulled from the shelves following the discovery that they contained unacceptable levels of a cancer-causing chemical called NDMA.
NDMA is such a powerful carcinogen that it is used in clinical trials to create cancer in lab animals, so its link to Zantac cancer seems clear. What is being questioned is the extent to which the drug companies knew or should have known that people consuming their products were putting themselves at significant health risk. Drug manufacturers are required to test their medications before releasing them to the public, but it took an independent drug-testing company called Valisure to reveal that Zantac and related ranitidine products contained NDMA from 3,000 to 30,000 times the level that is considered safe for human consumption.
Manufacturers Knew of Zantac Cancer Risk
At the heart of the Zantac cancer lawsuits is the question of what the drug manufacturers knew, when they knew it, and why they didn’t take action to warn or protect consumers against the risk of serious harm. The claims that have been submitted into the court show that numerous studies did since 1982 have connected the drug’s active ingredient to cancer and DNA damage. These studies include:
A 1982 study that linked ranitidine to DNA fragmentation
A 1983 study that linked DNA damage to ranitidine
A 2003 study that linked NDMA in drinking water to ranitidine
A 2004 National Cancer Institute study that linked Zantac to an increased risk of bladder cancer
A 2016 Stanford study that linked Zantac to increased levels of NDMA in the human body
Despite this information being readily available, the drug manufacturers did nothing to protect consumers or to warn them of their risk.
A growing number of Pittsburgh-area school districts are filing federal lawsuits against the makers of Juul e-cigarette products, blaming the company for what they are calling a “youth vaping epidemic.” Both Slippery Rock and McKeesport school districts have filed their claims in the last two days, joining lawsuits filed by the Butler Area School District, the South Butler School District, the Moniteau School District, and the Karns City School District. All six of these claims will be transferred to federal court in Northern California, where they will be heard along with claims that have already been filed by dozens of districts from around the country.
All around the United States, victims of Roundup cancer are assessing the terms of a proposed settlement that the herbicide’s owner, Bayer AG, has offered to victims. But even as the company works to ensure that it will be able to continue selling their product without warnings of its carcinogenic nature, new studies are being conducted and published, suggesting that glyphosate-based products are responsible for even more damage. The most recent of these suggests that the chemical may be damaging reproductive organs and fertility.
Hailing from all over the country, victims of Zantac cancer have come together in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in a consolidated legal action against the makers of Zantac, a popular heartburn medication that they blame for their life-threatening diagnosis.
Physicians are warning that teens suffering injuries from the use of Juul e-cigarettes may face delayed or inappropriate treatment because they are being misdiagnosed as potentially suffering from COVID-19. EVALI, or E-Cigarette or Vaping Product Use-Associated Lung Injury, shares many signs and symptoms that are similar to that of the novel coronavirus, and as a result, there have already been several confirmed cases that were initially missed in the state of California, and probably many more.
In the midst of thousands of Zantac cancer lawsuits being filed against Sanofi-Aventis US LLC and GlaxoSmithKline LLC, the U.S. Department of Justice has announced that it has launched an investigation into both manufacturers in connection with the cancer allegations.
Danziger & De Llano, LLP. Office Locations: (Principal Office) Houston, Texas . Contact Danziger & De Llano for more information. Prior results do not guarentee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future matter.