Deadline approaches, Baby Food

March 8, 2024

Deadline approaches, Baby Food

Deadline approaches, Baby Food – by Attorney Jeff Keiser.


Spring is Coming

When that calendar turns from February to March, I start thinking about spring (and even better, summer).  Even though the mass tort world seemingly never sleeps, at least we can start thinking about being a little warmer while doing it.  So, what’s been going on in some of the bigger cases?

Upcoming JPML

We’re about three weeks away from the next JPML hearing, but there could be some big cases on the horizon.

Of note from this session are the baby food cases and a new one (to me), a case seeking compensation from hotel chains based on sex trafficking.

The interesting thing with the latter case is that they’re seeking to transfer nearly 50 cases into an MDL, more than most.

We’ll report on the hearing and the orders resulting from it soon, but it’s always good to keep an eye on these hearings.  They really are where the big cases are born.

40,000 Cases Pending

As to the cases we’re currently working on, the Roundup litigation has been going on forever.  Even after some losses led some to believe the case was dead, others continued, and a Philadelphia court recently awarded $2.25 billion to a single plaintiff.

These cases may not be the easiest to prove, but if you can, you have an incredibly valuable case. The buzz following that multi-billion-dollar award raged for a while but was diminished greatly when a different court subsequently reduced an award by 90% and a trial ended in a hung jury in another.

I know there’s an ending to this story where everyone gets paid, but we are still quite far from that. There are still 40,000 cases pending in the litigation.

Hernia Mesh Mediation Continues

In the hernia mesh cases, we are in a bit of a holding pattern, but with hope.  As I write this in early March, the parties are in court ordered mediation in an effort to obtain a global settlement.

Usually, I see these things as hopeful, but in this case, this is not the first mediation.  A trial date was canceled last week, and that gives us some hope.

Some prognosticators have indicated that any potential settlement would give plaintiffs $50,000-75,000 for their injuries, but some of the worst harmed could get more.

We are way too early in the process to pop champagne, but some excitement may be brewing in the case.

CPAP Status

CPAP has been ongoing for a while now too, and there is some hope that we may see some action on these cases too.  Last week, Judge Conti held a status conference in an attempt to plan the case and there was some interesting news.

The bad news is that they are looking for the first bellwether trials to start in early 2025.  Interestingly enough, 2025 has also been calendared for the first bellwethers in the social media addiction cases and the Paragard cases.

A year from now, things should be really exciting in all these cases. However, here in CPAP, the delay to 2025 may work against any kind of global settlement negotiations.

On the other hand, Philips has expressly stated that they hope to settle these cases in 2024.  We’ll have to see how that contradiction works out, but it appears as if everyone wants these cases to end.  Here’s to hoping.

Judge Orders More Proof

In more troubling news, Judge Rosenstengel is requiring more documentary proof in the Paraquat cases.

If you have cases in the MDL, you are likely already aware of the February 26 order requiring all plaintiffs to respond to defense subpoenas requesting discovery on each plaintiff’s specific exposure.

This could be an issue for any borderline cases you may have. Since the MDL was formed, this Judge has apparently been taking this very seriously, and turned her attention to cases that presented “implausible or far-fetched theories of liability.”

Every plaintiff should be prepared to prove their actual exposure.

PACT Act Deadline

And finally, a word of warning. Anyone that has watched television over the past year and a half knows about Camp Lejeune and the PACT Act.

Even people on the sidelines have heard about this case and some of the procedural pitfalls this case presents, but the upcoming deadline of August 10, 2024 is incredibly important.

Whether the diagnosis is on the presumed list or not, this is a deadline that cannot be ignored. If you have a client and have not filed a claim with the Navy JAG, get it filed before this date or else the claim is lost.

I cannot foresee a world where the congress or the courts would extend this deadline for any reason, so make sure you get your claim form and file your claim. We are hopeful that the first trials could take place by the end of 2024.

That’s it from here.  We’ll be back next month with more insights and news from the world of mass torts.

Craig H. Alinder, Vice President

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