SAN FRANCISCO – On one coast, Bayer AG is fighting to reverse eye-popping jury verdicts based on a contested theory Roundup herbicide made by its Monsanto unit causes cancer. On the other, Johnson & Johnson begins hearings this week in federal court in New Jersey over its request to exclude more than 20 expert witnesses plaintiff lawyers need to prove their case that Johnson’s Baby Powder is contaminated with deadly asbestos and can cause ovarian cancer.
On April 30, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared glyphosate, the active ingredient in the widely used weedkiller Roundup, to be safe. Less than two weeks later, a California jury ordered Bayer AG to pay $2 billion to a couple who blamed their non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on Roundup.
Monsanto has appealed a groundbreaking $80 million verdict over its Roundup herbicide, saying the judge committed several serious legal errors and reversed herself on the issue of punitive damages after she was placed on the receiving end of an “extraordinary and coordinated public relations campaign”
The federal jury that this week ordered Monsanto to pay $80 million for allegedly causing a man’s cancer likely was swayed by internal documents suggesting the unit of Bayer AG had improperly influenced regulators to keep its Roundup weedkiller from being classified a carcinogen.
Multidistrict litigation – sprawling cases sometimes involving thousands of plaintiffs from all over the country – now represents more than half of the civil caseload in federal courts, according to a new survey, yet defendants complain the rules governing them are largely judge-made and haphazardly enforced.
SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - The cities of Oakland and San Francisco have replaced the private lawyers representing them in climate change litigation as a series of lawsuits against ExxonMobil, Shell and other oil companies head toward what could be their final challenges in appeals courts on either coast.
WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in a case that could end cy pres, the practice of steering money in class action settlements to organizations with absolutely no connection to the underlying lawsuit.
R.I. AG Peter Kilmartin better hope Rhode Island courts import California’s concept of public nuisance law, since the last time a Rhode Island AG tried this tactic, over lead paint, the state Supreme Court rejected the claim entirely.
It was a surprising opening move, to say the least. Arguing for the City of New York in its climate lawsuit against five major oil companies, attorney Michael Pawa cited AEP v. Connecticut, a 2009 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, as “persuasive authority” in his clients’ favor.
SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - Lawsuits accusing some of the world’s biggest oil companies of causing climate change face a crucial test Thursday, when a federal judge in California hears arguments on whether to dismiss cases brought by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland.
SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) - Self-driving cars, machines that teach themselves how to operate and home digital assistants that can enter into legally binding contracts are all either on the market now or soon will be. So the next question is: Whom do you sue when they run amok?
SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - Chevron, in a renewed motion to dismiss climate change litigation against it filed by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland, described the case as a futile attempt to get around numerous prior court decisions preventing similar lawsuits over the sale of legal products.
SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - Five of the world’s largest oil and gas producers filed a motion to dismiss a climate change lawsuit against them by the cities of Oakland and San Francisco even as they prepared to deliver an unusual “tutorial” on climate science to the federal judge overseeing the case.
SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - Plaintiff lawyers meeting in San Francisco last week for a conference on opioid litigation acknowledged that the hundreds of lawsuits they have filed in state and federal court will be difficult to resolve without an unprecedented national settlement whose mechanics are still difficult to predict.
SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - First they tried suing the utility companies. Then they tried suing the automakers. They even tried suing oil companies on behalf of an Alaskan village in danger of being inundated by oil-fueled rising sea levels.
SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - Chevron Corp. has filed a third-party complaint against Norway’s state-owned oil company Statoil, seeking to include it in lawsuits by California cities and counties over global warming.
CLEVELAND (Legal Newsline) - There will be a lot of familiar faces in U.S. District Judge Dan Polster’s courtroom in Cleveland on Jan. 31, when lawyers gather for a hearing on multidistrict litigation against the nation’s opioid manufacturers and distributors.
SACRAMENTO - At the end of this month, California Supreme Court Justice Kathryn Werdegar is scheduled to retire, giving Gov. Jerry Brown the opportunity to appoint his fourth justice to the highest court in the nation’s most populous state, ending a Republican majority and sealing his influence over the court for decades.