As a mom, you want to know that the products you and your family use daily are safe. That's why it's concerning to hear about big companies like Bayer, 3M, and Johnson & Johnson facing thousands of lawsuits over claims that their products caused harm.
What's even more concerning is that many of them want to make the process of filing these claims much more complicated for an average American and benefit just a handful of lawyers.
Recently, 31 Corporations, including Pfizer, Altria Group, Bayer, Exxon Mobil, Johnson & Johnson, 3M, and others, have asked for a change in policy regarding lawsuits that involve many different people, called multidistrict litigations (MDLs) or Mass Torts.
In a letter sent to the committee on rules of practice and procedure at the Administrative Office of the US Courts, the companies’ legal officers requested a new rule.
The rule they want would require the lawyers representing the plaintiffs making the claims to show evidence early on that they have looked into their client's claims. This would help remove any claims that are not well-supported or have not been looked into thoroughly.
The companies say that right now, too many of these claims are allowed to continue even though they don't have a strong foundation. They call these claims "unexamined and unsupportable."
Overall, the companies hope that this new rule will make the process of dealing with lawsuits easier and more fair for everyone involved.
In the case of 3M, over 265,000 people have filed lawsuits in a group called an MDL. They say that the company's Combat Arms military earplugs were defective and caused hearing loss. It's good to hear that 3M supports a proposal that would help resolve these cases more efficiently and fairly for those who have real claims.
On the other hand, Johnson & Johnson is facing over 37,000 lawsuits in an MDL over claims that its talc products caused cancer. The company did not respond to a request for comment, but it's concerning that so many people are making these claims.
We feel the proposal will face opposition from plaintiffs’ firms. Ben Whiting, a partner at plaintiffs’ firm Keller Postman, said the policy could lead to a “rather significant level of proof just to have the right to file.
In cases like Camp Lejeune, it took the victims over fifty years to get justice.
As consumers, it's important for us to stay informed and hold companies accountable for the safety of their products. Let's hope these proposals will lead to a more just resolution for those harmed.
From 2017 to 2019, e-cigarette use among high school students rose by 135 percent. In 2019, more than 5.3 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes – an alarming increase of nearly 3.2 million students in two years.
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