West Virginia Reaches Opioid Verdict
On July 4, 2022, a West Virginia federal judge found in favor of three drug distributors in the West Virginia opioid litigation. U.S. District Judge David Haber found that Cabell County and the city of Huntington, West Virginia failed to prove that AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health Inc. and McKesson Corp. created a public nuisance by flooding the area with large shipments of opioids. Further, the judge ruled that the plaintiffs could not seek relief for abating the damages from the Opioid Crisis.
Recently, Congress proposed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act as part of the larger Honoring our PACT Act of 2022 legislation (H.R. 3967), in order to provide compensation to those injured by exposure to polluted water at Camp Lejuene.
Camp Lejeune is a Marine Corps base and a military operations and training facility for the United States armed forces located in Onslow County, North Carolina. Thousands of military servicemembers, their families, civilian employees and contractors lived and/or worked there beginning in 1942 through the present.
On Friday, June 10, 2022, United States District Judge Casey Rodgers in the Northern District of Florida, Pensacola Division, ordered parties in the 3M earplug litigation to attend mediation. Claims against 3M are consolidated in a Multidistrict Litigation (“MDL”) and are overseen by Judge Rodgers. Plaintiffs, veterans and US servicemembers, claim that 3M’s earplugs were defectively designed. They allege that the defective design prevented the earplugs from providing protection to servicemembers and that this failure led to tinnitus and/or hearing loss.
On Friday, June 10, 2022, a Texas federal judge’s ruling allowed a University of Texas (“UT”) Law Professor’s discrimination claim to move forward. Despite a magistrate judge’s recommendation that summary judgement be granted in UT’s favor, U.S. District Judge David Alan Ezra did not issue summary judgment in UT’s favor. Instead he allowed the plaintiff’s federal Equal Pay Claim to go forward, while dismissing her Title VII claim.
On Wednesday, June 8, 2022, over 90 women filed an administrative complaint against the FBI seeking compensation for their failure to act on reports of abuse by Lawrence Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics doctor. Nassar was later convicted on state sexual abuse charges.
On Wednesday, May 11, 2022, parties announced a $997 million settlement was reached in the Champlain Towers South litigation. The announcement was made in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of the State of Florida in front of presiding Judge Michael Hanzman. Defendants included a multitude of entities, including some parties who were yet to be named as defendants.
On Friday, April 29, 2022, a federal jury found for the plaintiff in a suit against 3M alleging defective design of earplugs. The plaintiff, Jonathon Vaughan, is a veteran of the Army who served from 2006 to 2010. The suit alleged 3M’s Combat Arms CAEv2 earplugs led to plaintiff’s hearing loss and tinnitus.
On Wednesday, April 27, 2022, defendants in the TikTok Privacy litigation challenged over 2,200 class member opt-outs. The argument was made in the U.S. Federal District Court in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division in front of U.S. District Judge John Lee. Defendants are the TikTok platform and its parent company, ByteDance, Inc.
On April, 15 2022, a jury found for a plaintiff in a case against C.R. Bard surrounding its Hernia Mesh product. The trial took place in federal court in Columbus, Ohio against Becton, Dickinson and Co. which acquired C.R. Bard Inc. in 2017.
On Friday, April 8, 2022, a federal jury found for 3M in a suit against the company alleging defective design of earplugs. The plaintiff, Denise Kelley, is a veteran of the Army who served in Kuwait and Iraq. She claimed the defective design led to her hearing loss and tinnitus.
On Friday, March 25, 2022, federal juries awarded $58 million to two army veterans holding 3M liable for hearing loss from defective earplugs used in training and combat. In Pensacola, FL, U.S. Army veteran Luke Vilsmeyer was awarded $50 million. Several hours later, in Tallahassee, FL, U.S. Army National Guard veteran Steven Wilkerson was awarded $8 million in compensatory damages.
On Monday, March 21, 2022, U.S. District Judge Judith Levy ruled that former government officials involved in the Flint Water Crisis cannot quash subpoenas in an ongoing civil trial.
On Tuesday, February 22, 2022, a settlement was announced between the U.S. Soccer Federation and the U.S. Women’s National Team (“USWNT”) Players to end their equal pay and pay discrimination litigation.
The parties announced that the U.S. Soccer Federation will pay $22 million to the players. An additional $2 million will be paid into an account “to benefit the USWNT players in their post-career goals and charitable efforts related to women’s and girls’ soccer.”
On Tuesday, February, 15, 2022, in the CPAP MDL, U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti of the Western District of Pennsylvania issued Pre-trial Order #8 naming the plaintiffs’ leadership.
The court reviewed and interviewed each of the 75 applications that were submitted for either co-lead counsel, Plaintiff’s Steering Committee (“PSC”) or liaison counsel. The following four attorneys were appointed to serve as plaintiffs’ co-lead counsel: Sandra Duggan from Levin, Sedran and Berman, Christopher A. Seeger from Seeger Weiss LLP, Kelly K. Iverson from Lynch Carpenter LLP, and Steven A. Schwartz from Chimicles & Tikellis. Judge Conti’s orders specifically laid out their duties and responsibilities.
On Thursday, January 27, 2022 a federal jury awarded $110 million to two army veterans, holding 3M liable for hearing loss caused by defective earplugs used in combat. U.S. Army Soldiers Ronald Sloan and William Wayman were each awarded $15 million in compensatory damages and $40 million each in punitive damages.