MASS TORTS – WHAT’S THAT?
According to Wikipedia, the definition of a mass tort is:
“A mass tort is a civil action involving numerous plaintiffs against one or a few defendants in state or federal court. The lawsuits arise out of the defendants causing numerous injuries through the same or similar act of harm. . .”
In most cases, mass tort claims are filed when consumers are injured on a large scale by defective drugs or medical devices.
The top mass tort cases to watch in 2022-2023 include:
(1) Talcum Power: Over 37,000 claims are pending in federal multi-district litigation (“MDL”). It is claimed that Johnson & Johnson manufactured, designed, sold and distributed cancer-causing talcum powder, causing ovarian cancer.
(2) 3M Earplugs: Combat Arms Earplugs were originally designed and marketed by Aero Technologies. 3M bought Aero and all of its liabilities.
(3) Zantac: The active ingredient turns into NDMA, a known carcinogenic linked to several cancers when exposed to heat, even at room temperature.
(4) Paraquat: Herbicide manufactured by Syngenta to kill weeds and grasses, allegedly causes Parkinson’s Disease.
(5) CPAP: Defective sleep apnea therapy machines where manufacturers defectively designed its product so that there was degradation of a noise-abating insulation foam into a toxic substance. These cases are against “Philips,” a collection of Dutch corporations. The toxic chemicals in the allegedly defective sleep apnea machines cause skin irritation, serious lung injuries and cancer.
Plaintiffs and consumer lawyers have learned to use multi-district litigation in federal court to make negligent manufacturers pay for the danger to consumers of defectively designed pharmaceutical and medical devices.
There are over 230,000 3M earplug cases going to trial all at once. Most plaintiffs are combat veterans with hearing loss or tinnitus (a loud ringing in the ears).
Waves of 3M cases are assigned to federal trial courts throughout all fifty states after 3M repeatedly failed to settle these cases. Estimated liability for 3M is 100 billion dollars just on the 3M earplug cases.