Tag Archive for personal injury

Link Between Ovarian Cancer and Talc-Based Cosmetic Products

26770539316_653521db53_zWithin the past couple of years, lawsuits have been filed against companies like Johnson & Johnson in regards to products containing talcum powder. Research has shown that talcum powder is an unsafe sterilizing agent that can lead to ovarian cancer in women who use products like Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder around their genital area. While Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based powder is labeled as Baby Powder, they market their product for women’s use too.

Studies have been conducted since the 1980s on the negative side effects of talcum powder use in the female genital area, but Johnson & Johnson never informed their consumers about the risk of using their products containing the powder because the results were inconclusive; there was no grounding evidence to support the link between ovarian cancer and talcum powder (though past and recent claims would suggest otherwise).

What exactly is talcum powder?

According to The American Cancer society, talc powder is essentially a mineral comprised of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. It can be used as a sterilizing agent, and is the first named ingredient in Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder.

Where is the link between ovarian cancer and talcum powder?

Women who use talc-based products like Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder for feminine hygiene are at risk of forming ovarian cancer due to talc particles getting trapped in their ovarian tissues. Trapped talc particles would eventually cause inflammation in the ovaries and lead to the development of cancerous ovarian cell growth.

A woman from Texas filed a complaint in mid-August alleging that the consistent use of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder caused the death of her daughter, Janel Kuntz. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 43 years old, and was apparently using Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder product for at least 23 years. She was unaware of the health complications talc powder has on females who use it to keep their lady parts “fresh” as the powder absorbs moisture and eliminates odor.

But Janel Kuntz was not the first woman to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer due to using Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder. The first talcum powder lawsuit filed against Johnson & Johnson was in 2009 by a woman named Diane Berg. And in 2013, Jackie Fox filed a talcum powder lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson. Unfortunately Ms. Fox passed away in 2015 due to ovarian cancer, but the pharmaceutical company was found liable and paid out $72 million to Ms. Fox’s son after her death.

Berg, Kuntz, and Fox are only a few among many women who have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson for their unsafe talc-based powder products. The growing number of talcum powder lawsuits being filed against Johnson & Johnson has sparked “a group of plaintiffs” to file a motion with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate all claims as part of a multi-district ligtigation (MDL).

Photo credit: Mike Mozart, photo

Jury Sides with PD in Dog Bite Civil Lawsuit

LaGrange News reported a jury sided with LaGrange police department over a dog bite civil lawsuit. The plaintiff is Shajarvis Brown, currently a prisoner doing time for armed robbery charges. Apparently Brown was hiding under a sink when police found him, where he claims he was assaulted by the police dog commanded by his handler. The police department claims Brown was combative and kicked the dog.

Dog bites are very serious incidents that can cause harmful injuries. It is also a potentially traumatic event that while physically frightening can cause emotional and mental problems for the victim. In this case, because of the circumstances, the plaintiff lost. But there are circumstances where a plaintiff can win, and plaintiffs should not be dissuaded from seeking justice if they suffered dog bites.

Written by Lulaine Compere.

Jury Awards $13 Million for Elevator Fall

Janice Beasley was awarded $13 million by a Florida jury for her psychological and physical injuries she suffered from a series of elevator falls that occurred between the 23rd floor and the basement. The incident happened in May of 1999, and the lawsuit was filed in 2002.

The suit was held up for years due to legal complications. According to allegations, the incident occurred because of the elevator malfunctioning and a bad decision by the elevator operator. According to news reports, Beasley says she suffered stress disorder, chronic depression, partial paralysis of her left leg, pseudo seizures, and was in a wheelchair for many years.

Written by Lulaine Compere.

$500K Texting While Driving Lawsuit Settlement

A Florida couple who both lost legs in a car crash in New Jersey will receive $500,000 from the settlement of their lawsuit. According to news reports, the driver of the car that hit the couple was texting his friend and not paying attention to the road when he hit them.

The case was made famous because the defendant tried to argue the person he was texting with is responsible as well, but that didn’t hold up in court.

Read the article in its entirety at washingtonpost.com.

Written by Lulaine Compere.

Maryland Lawmakers Place Increased Liability on Dog Owners

The Washington Post reported a story about Maryland lawmakers pushing legislation that would make the owners of dogs liable for any bites against anyone, even if it’s their first offense. In Virginia and 13 other states, a dog owner can generally avoid responsibility for a dog’s first biting incident, assuming there is no other history of violent behavior.

Dog bites are some of the most common injury claims and with the increased liability Maryland lawmakers are going to put on the owners, you can expect the claims to go up.

This is good news for the victims because a dog bite can be a very traumatic experience, and it can really shape how people interact with animals. Also in the story, critics of the legislation say it will increase insurance requirements.

Written by Lulaine Compere.

Attorney Fees for Moody’s Derivative Settlement

The issue of attorney’s fees can be contentious, especially when it deals with cases where a lawyer’s compensation is deferred. This holds true particularly in cases like personal injury, where the attorney standard is to be paid through contingency fees.

The Moody’s’ case is the latest example of the fight on what is actually fairness in regards to attorney’s fees and the work they do. Reuters recently reported a story about the plaintiff’s attorney fee fight in the Moody’s derivative settlement.

Read the entire story online at thomsonreuters.com.

Written by Lulaine Compere.

Post Settlement Lawsuit Funding For Plaintiff Attorneys

Many banks and alternative lenders are facing new and tougher regulations since the recession and in turn are making tougher lending standards for small businesses to borrow money. If a law firm is lucky enough to get money, the time period between applying for the loan and getting it can be extensive, which can leave the firm in a bad financial situation. Furthermore, because banks do not consider a law firm’s case load as collateral, it is almost impossible to get the full amount of money a firm requires.

Small law firms generally face cash flow problems and need people who understand their situation. Many lenders do not know the complexities that a plaintiff attorney faces and are hesitant to loan the money. Plaintiff attorneys need these funds because they defer their fee until the case is settled and have to vigorously pursue the case to win. Working on a contingency fee basis often leads to gaps between legal fees.

Post settlement funding involves a finance company purchasing a legal receivable and advancing a portion of this fee. This differs from pre-settlement funding, where an advance is made on a case before there is a settlement.

There are certain types of cases where post settlement lawsuit funding is appropriate, as there is often a gap between the time of settlement and when the legal fee is actually paid to the plaintiff or attorney. Due to court delays and administrative issues, class actions, mass torts, and personal injury cases sometimes have a gap between settlement date and payment date. Therefore, post settlement financing makes sense as a cash flow management solution to bridge this gap and provide cash when it is needed.

Written by Lulaine Compere.