The Litigation Counsellor®

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3M Handed $58 Million Verdict in Earplug Litigation

Libby Vish, Esq. | VP, Business Development

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.

Former Government Officials in Flint Water Trial Can’t Plead 5th

Libby Vish, Esq. | VP, Business Development

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.”

CPAP MDL Plaintiffs’ Leadership Appointed

Libby Vish, Esq. | VP, Business Development

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.

3M Handed 6th Verdict in Earplug Litigation

Libby Vish, Esq. | VP, Business Development

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.

$490M Settlement in University of Michigan Sex Abuse Litigation

Libby Vish, Esq. | VP, Business Development

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.

Study Offers Insight into True Impact on State Court Trials in 2020

Libby Vish, Esq. | VP, Business Development

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.

Two Earplug Litigation Trials End in Defense Victories

Libby Vish, Esq. | VP, Business Development

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.

$380m Settlement in USA Gymnastics Sex Abuse Litigation

Libby Vish, Esq. | VP, Business Development

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.

3M Handed another Verdict in Earplug Litigation

Libby Vish, Esq. | VP, Business Development

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.

Zillow Sued Over Shuttered Home Buying Program

Libby Vish, Esq. | VP, Business Development

On November 16, 2021, claims were filed in the United States District Court Western District of Washington at Seattle against Zillow Group Inc. (“Zillow”) and three of its executives: Richard Barton, CEO, Allen Parker, CFO and Jeremy Wacksman, COO (collectively, “Defendants”). The plaintiff claims Defendants made misleading statements about the program, Zillow Offers.

3M Faces $13M Verdict in Earplugs Litigation

Libby Vish, Esq. | VP, Business Development

On Monday, November 15, 2021, a Florida jury awarded more than $13 million to Army Sergeant Guillermo Camarillorazo, holding 3M liable for hearing loss resulting from the use of defective earplugs in combat. The jury awarded Sgt. Guillermo $816,395 in compensatory damages and $12,245 in punitive damages. This is the largest jury verdict to date. Previous jury verdicts were in the amounts of $8.2 million, $7.1 million and $1.7 million.

J&J Talc Bankruptcy Transferred to New Jersey Court

Libby Vish, Esq. | VP, Business Development

On November 10, 2021, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Craig Whitley of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Western District of North Carolina, issued an order transferring claims against Johnson & Johnson (“J&J”) related to its talc-based products to a federal court in New Jersey where the multidistrict litigation, In re: Johnson and Johnson Talcum Powder Products Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability, is currently pending.

Parties in J&J Sunscreen Litigation File Joint Notice of Settlement

Libby Vish, Esq. | VP, Business Development

On October 29, 2021, parties in the In Re: Johnson & Johnson Aerosol Sunscreen Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation told the judge they had reached a tentative settlement agreement. Last month, the cases were consolidated into a Multidistrict Litigation (“MDL”) in front of U.S. District Judge Raag Singhal in the Southern District of Florida.