Nearly $1B Settlement in Surfside Towers Collapse
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.
On January 18, 2022, parties reached a $490 million settlement in the University of Michigan sexual abuse litigation. The case is in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
The plaintiffs’ claims stem from the allegations of abuse against university doctor Robert Anderson. Anderson worked at the University of Michigan for 35 years, from 1968-2003.
New data released by the Court Statistics Project shows that state court trials drastically decreased in 2020. Civil jury trials were hit the hardest as states saw activity decrease by 74% from 2019 to 2020. Criminal jury trials followed closely behind, with a decrease of 60% from 2019 to 2020. Bench trials fared better with civil bench trials seeing a 42% decrease and criminal bench trials seeing a 35% decrease from 2019 to 2020.
In the past week, 3M has declared two victories in the Earplug Litigation. The first came on Wednesday, December 15, 2021 when a Pensacola jury decided that the defendant’s earplugs were not defectively designed or unreasonably dangerous. The plaintiff was former U.S. Army soldier Carlos Montero, who served in the military for 23 years from 1995-2018 and alleged hearing loss and bilateral tinnitus.
On December 13, 2021, parties announced a $380m settlement had been reached in the USA Gymnastics sexual abuse litigation. The settlement was reached in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
The plaintiffs’ claims stem from the allegations of abuse against team doctor Larry Nassar. Hundreds of gymnasts filed lawsuits against USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee citing negligence that allowed the abuse to go on for years.
On December 10, 2021, a federal jury awarded $22.5 million to U.S. Army soldier Theodore Finley holding 3M liable for hearing loss from defective earplugs used in combat. The former soldier was awarded $7.5 million in compensatory damages and $15 million in punitive damages. This is now the largest jury verdict to date. Previous jury verdicts were $13 million, $8.2 million, $7.1 million and $1.7 million.