2 Billion Awarded in Monsanto Roundup Cancer Claim

By David C. Strouss, Esq.

Published on May 14, 2019

A northern California jury awarded $2 billion dollars in punitive damages against Bayer to  a couple who used Roundup weedkiller and have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Ruling that the plaintiffs’ use of Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller was a “substantial factor” in the development of their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the jury’s verdict was the largest jury award in the United States this year, and the eighth largest in a product liability claim in history. Monsanto was acquired by German pharmaceutical corporation Bayer in 2018.

Plaintiffs Alva and Albert Pilliod, both in their 70s, are residents of Livermore, California. They used Roundup, the world’s most widely used weedkiller, to landscape their home and other properties for over 30 years, from 1975 until 2011.

Both went on to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (also known as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or NHL). Alva was diagnosed in 2011 with systemic NHL in his bones, which spread to his pelvis and spine.  Alberta Pilliod was diagnosed with NHL brain cancer in 2015. Both are in remission. The trial was expedited due to their poor health and shorter life expectancies.

The jury found that Monsanto failed to warn the Pilliods of the risk of developing cancer. Each plaintiff was awarded $1 billion dollars in punitive damages. They were also awarded $55 million in compensatory damages for medical costs, pain and suffering, and other losses; Alva was awarded $37 million and Alberta $18 million. It is likely the punitive damages award will be reduced based on recent Supreme Court decisions limiting punitive damages.

This is the third trial lost by Bayer over Roundup cancer claims. Plaintiff Edwin Hardeman was awarded $80 million dollars earlier this year; in 2018 plaintiff Dewayne Johnson was awarded $289 million, although that verdict was later reduced by the trial judge to $78 million.

Research has linked NHL, a cancer that affects the immune system, to glyphosate exposure. The plaintiffs’ trial counsel presented internal Monsanto documents as evidence of the close relationship between Monsanto and U.S. regulators and scientists. They argued that Monsanto worked so closely with scientists writing purportedly neutral studies that Monsanto “ghostwrote” the published science.

After the trial, a Bayer lawyer asked one juror what the panel had wanted hear from Bayer in defense of the claim that Roundup is safe. The juror responded:  “I wanted you to get up and drink it.” One of the Pilliod’s trial attorneys said after the verdict: “Monsanto has never had any interest in finding out whether Roundup is safe. Instead of investing in sound science, they invested millions in attacking science that threatened their business agenda.”

Attorney Strouss and Thornton Law Firm have a longstanding history of litigation involving Roundup. We filed suit against Monsanto in Delaware in 2012 on behalf of several children with serious birth injuries including spina bifida; their parents were tobacco farmers in Argentina.  We will use our experience and expertise in representing people with cancer from other exposures to toxic substances in representing individuals with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from using Roundup, the largest-selling weedkiller worldwide.  If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after heavy exposure to Roundup, please call Attorney David Strouss at 888-491-9726 or tell us your story online here.

 

Mesothelioma Victim Receives Record Asbestos Verdict in New England

Call 888-632-0108 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in mesothelioma and asbestos litigation. You can also contact us online to discuss the details of your case.

By: David J. McMorris, Esq.

Published on September 22, 2017

$7.55 Million Awarded to Victim in Case Against Insulation Company

A Superior Court jury in Boston returned a verdict of $7.55 million dollars against New England Insulation, a Canton company who distributed and installed asbestos insulation material until the early 1970’s.  Gerald Sylvestre, a former worker in the Public Service of New Hampshire Merrimack Power Station in Bow NH, developed pleural mesothelioma, an asbestos-caused cancer, in 2015 and is currently undergoing treatment.

“No one should have to go through this illness, and I particularly hate the suffering it has caused my family, especially because it could have been prevented,” said Sylvestre. “My wife and I were very happy with the verdict, but what meant the most was that we got to tell our story and the jury heard it and responded as they did.”

“The jury recognized the devastation this disease creates for families of workers exposed to hazardous materials,” said Sylvestre’s attorney, Andrew Wainwright of Boston’s Thornton Law Firm, “Had New England Insulation shared the knowledge they had of the dangers of asbestos with men working near them and with their products, this all could have been avoided.”

Today’s verdict is the largest award to date in New England, and was the result of a team effort between the Thornton Law Firm and Waters and Kraus, a nationally recognized asbestos trial firm.

“We are grateful for the jury’s verdict fully compensating the Sylvestres for their losses,” said Andrea Marino Landry, Thornton Law Firm’s trial co-counsel. “Gerald Sylvestre and other workers have suffered greatly from New England Insulation’s failure to share with them its knowledge of the dangers of asbestos exposure, which could have prevented this family’s pain and heartbreak.”

Thornton Law Firm was founded in 1978 by Michael Thornton doing groundbreaking work for victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Now the leading injury law firm in Massachusetts and the largest plaintiff law firm in New England, the firm has an experienced team of attorneys representing thousands of clients in a wide variety of plaintiff-side work. The firm has represented asbestos victims in New England for over 40  years and this commitment led Thornton Law Firm to aid in the creation of the Thornton House, which provides housing for mesothelioma and asbestos disease patients and families.

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, call Attorney Andrew Wainwright at 888-632-0108 for a free case evaluation, or tell us your story here. All legal claims have short, strictly enforced time deadlines, so contact us immediately if you need legal advice.

J&J To Pay $55 Million for Talc Ovarian Cancer

Call 888-341-1405 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in personal injury and medical device litigation. You can also contact us online to discuss the details of your case.

By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

NOTE: This verdict was overturned by the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, based on the Supreme Court decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court of California, San Francisco County, et al., 582 U.S.___ (2017), for lack of personal jurisdiction.

A South Dakota woman was awarded $55 million dollars against Johnson & Johnson for developing ovarian cancer after decades of using J&J talcum powder products. The verdict is the second successive multi-million dollar verdict against Johnson & Johnson in the past two months for women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder for many years. The jury awarded $5 million dollars in compensatory damages and $50 million dollars in punitive damages.

The plaintiff, Gloria Ristesund, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011 after using J&J Baby Powder and Shower to Shower powder as advertised, on her genital area, for almost 39 years. She is in remission after undergoing a full hysterectomy. Her lawsuit charged Johnson & Johnson of failing to warn of the cancer risk of using talcum powder or failing to remove talc from the powder and replace it with cornstarch which has similar soothing properties. The jury found in her favor after one day of deliberations following a three-week trial.

Internal Johnson & Johnson documents were introduced into evidence showing the company was aware of health concerns about talcum powder since the 1970s. A 1992 J&J document suggested targeting sales to high users of talcum powder to increase sales. Talc was found in Ristesund’s ovarian tissue after the hysterectomy.

This verdict comes on the heels of a similar case in February in which the survivors of a woman who died of ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson talc powder were awarded $72 million dollars.

Johnson & Johnson has announced that it will appeal this verdict as well as the prior verdict. Another 1200 cases remain pending around the country alleging J&J failed to warn consumers of the risks of using talc powder.

Women who use baby powder should look for a powder made without talc, such as cornstarch powder. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder, call the defective product lawyers at Thornton Law Firm for a confidential, no-obligation consultation. You can call Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick at 1-888-341-1405 or tell us your story online for a free evaluation of your legal rights. All legal claims have short time limits, so seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Johnson & Johnson to Pay $72 Million in Talc Cancer Case

Call 888-341-1405 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in personal injury and medical device litigation. You can also contact us online to discuss the details of your case.

By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

NOTE: This verdict was later overturned for lack of personal jurisdiction, based on the Supreme Court decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court of California, San Francisco County, et al., 582 U.S.___ (2017).

A St. Louis jury awarded $72 million dollars to the family of a woman who developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder for many years. The jury awarded $10 million dollars in compensatory damages and $62 million dollars to the family of an Alabama woman. Plaintiff Jackie Fox died of ovarian cancer on October 6th. She had used Johnson & Johnson baby powder and “Shower to Shower” talcum powder for 35 years.

Fox’s family submitted expert medical testimony that talcum powder causes ovarian cancer. Statistical evidence presented at trial also showed that 1,500 women per year die from the association between talcum powder and ovarian cancer.

While many other manufacturers now substitute corn starch for talc in baby powder, Johnson & Johnson continues to use talc in its baby powder products and continues to maintain that it is safe. The American Cancer Society advised in 1999 that women use cornstarch powder, rather than talcum powder, in the genital area.

Key evidence in the trial were internal memos from Johnson & Johnson. A 1997 memo from a J&J medical consultant, toxicologist Alfred P. Wehner, declared:

“There are at least 9 epidemiological studies published in the professional literature describing a statistically significant (albeit weak) association between hygienic talc use and ovarian cancer….Anybody who denies this risks that the talc industry will be perceived by the public like it perceives the cigarette industry: denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary.”

Other Johnson & Johnson documents showed the company discussing internally how to defend potential lawsuits, and talking about hiring a female oncologist to get their message out.

The jury forewoman, Krista Smith, called the Johnson & Johnson internal documents “decisive”, stating “It was really clear they were hiding something. All they had to do was put a warning label on.”

More than 1200 other lawsuits are still pending against J&J from women who developed ovarian cancer after using talcum powder. Johnson & Johnson is expected to appeal this verdict.

Women who use baby powder should look for a powder that is made from cornstarch, not talc. If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder, call the defective product lawyers at Thornton Law Firm for a legal consultation. You can tell us your story online or call Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick at 1-888-341-1405 for a free, confidential evaluation of your legal rights. All legal claims have short time limits, so get legal advice quickly.

$100 Million Mesh Verdict Against Boston Scientific

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by Marilyn T. McGoldrick, Esq.

A  Delaware jury awarded $100 million dollars to a woman who suffered vaginal scarring and constant pain after receiving transvaginal mesh implants made by Boston Scientific. The Delaware state court jury awarded $25 million in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive damages to Deborah Barba, age 51. Mrs. Barba was implanted with Boston Scientific’s Advantage Fit and Pinnacle transvaginal mesh (TVM) products in 2009 to treat to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Thousands of women have been implanted with similar mesh products to treat POP and SUI over the last decade.  Thornton Law Firm represents women across the United States in lawsuits against various pelvic mesh manufacturers for the serious injuries those implants have caused.

The jury found that the mesh implants were defectively designed and manufactured, and that Marlborough, Massachusetts-based Boston Scientific failed to warn doctors and patients of the risks. Mrs. Barba suffered vaginal scarring, mesh erosion and constant, unremitting pain that left her unable to have sexual intercourse. Despite two subsequent surgeries, doctors have not been able to remove all the embedded, pain-causing mesh. After the verdict was announced, she spoke out for other women suffering from defective transvaginal mesh: “I am thankful for the jury’s verdict and hope my story can help other women who are suffering from mesh complications to receive the resolution they deserve. While difficult to share, I hope my case demonstrates to all mesh manufacturers the dangers of their products and the justice they owe victims.”

This is the largest verdict against any manufacturer in the mesh litigation. The largest verdict before this was $73.5 million awarded last year to a Texas woman against Boston Scientific over her Obtryx mesh sling. More than 70,000 mesh cases are pending in federal court in West Virginia, and more are pending in state courts in California, Delaware, Missouri, New Jersey, and Texas.

Thornton Law Firm’s transvaginal mesh attorneys represent women in claims against all the manufacturers of transvaginal mesh:  Boston Scientific Corp., Caldera, C.R. Bard, Inc., Ethicon (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) and Sofradim/Covidien. If you have a transvaginal mesh implant and have suffered complications including mesh erosion, mesh contraction, pain, additional surgery, infection, bleeding, urinary problems, vaginal tightening or shortening, painful sexual intercourse, inability to engage in sexual intercourse, or organ perforation, for a free, confidential evaluation of your legal claim, please tell us your story here or call our toll free number 888-341-1405. Like all legal claims, defective mesh claims are subject to short, strictly enforced time limits. Do not delay seeking legal advice.

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