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5 Things You Should Know About Mass Torts in 2022

5 Things You Should Know About Mass Torts in 2022

  1. Roundup: Bayer AG filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse an appellate court verdict. Since then, the SCOTUS asked the U.S. government for its views on whether the court should hear the case. If the SCOTUS grants certiorari and ends up throwing out the $25M Edwin Hardeman verdict, Bayer may avoid potentially billions of dollars in damages. Bayer has settled about 80% (98,000) of the lawsuits. With around 26,000 cases remaining, potential certiorari, and new potential claimants being diagnosed with NHL every day, makes this an interesting litigation to watch.
  2. Hernia mesh: As these cases were delayed with the COVID-19 pandemic, trials are starting again. In October 2021, the first Bard bellwether (defense pick) resulted in a defense verdict. The second bellwether is a plaintiff pick and is supposed to start in January. 2022 will be an important year for hernia mesh.
  3. Infant formula NEC (Abbott and Mead Johnson): with an informal consolidation in Madison County, IL, a pending motion for statewide consolidation, a pending decision whether Mead Johnson Nutrition will be deemed an Illinois or Indiana corporation for jurisdictional purposes, an anticipated rapid increase in case filings, and the first trial scheduled for March 2023, makes this a must watch litigation this year.
  4. J&J talc: J&J subsidiary LTL Management LLC now holds the company’s talc liabilities and will need to defend its decision to file for bankruptcy in February before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Kaplan in New Jersey. LTL plans to request mediation during bankruptcy. J&J maintains that bankruptcy is the best way to handle the claims. With more than 35,000 filed cases, we will find out soon whether the Chapter 11 case will proceed or be dismissed.
  5. 3M Combat Arms Earplugs: as the largest mass tort in the U.S. at over 272,000 lawsuits, upcoming January trials, and now seven out of 11 bellwether plaintiffs being awarded damages (including several large verdicts $13M (Guillermo Camarillorazo) and $22M (Michael Finley)), we look forward to seeing what happens with the upcoming bellwethers this year.