Mass Tort

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A mass tort is a legal action in which multiple plaintiffs can file a claim against one or more at-fault parties in civil court. Mass tort claims are filed by individuals who have suffered physical or financial damages due to the negligence of a large company. Common examples of mass tort cases include medical device injuries, product liability injuries, toxic contamination, and many more. Mass tort claims can be very complex, especially for victims who were the subject of serious injury or illness. Hiring an experienced mass tort attorney such as Brochu Law can help navigate through all the legal complexities of your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation on your mass tort claim.

Defective Philips CPAP & Sleep Apnea Machines

Philips Respironics developed a device to help those suffering from sleep apnea sleep better. However, it has been found that a defect in these devices is known to cause cancer. What is supposed to be a device to improve the quality of life of its users, can cause significant medical injury.

If you were injured as a result of the Philips CPAP or Sleep Apnea Machine, Brochu Law is here to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Injury Caused by Philips CPAP and Sleep Apnea Machines

A defect discovered in the CPAP and Sleep Apnea Machine manufactured by Philips caused some users to breathe in a toxic foam. When the foam used in the device degrades, it creates toxins that are known to cause cancer and other major health issues when ingested. Other health complications caused by the toxic foam include asthma, upper airway irritations, coughing, chest pressure, sinus infections, headaches, damage to the liver and kidneys, nausea, vomiting, and increased breathing problems.

Class Action Lawsuit

In June 2021, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Philips in Massachusetts. The lawsuit claims that Philips knew about the toxic foam and the severe health issues it was causing people for years. Philips did not issue a public warning about this defect until April 2021, despite users raising concerns about potential issues for several years. It took Philips another two months to take significant action, finally recalling the devices on June 14, 2021.

What was interesting about the timing of the recall is that Philips conveniently was conveniently releasing a newer device around the same time. Patients who rely on these devices may have had no choice but to purchase the newer machine. This resulted in Philips not only profiting from the release of a new machine, but also limiting the negative affects of the recall.

Philips Lawsuits Are Based On 2 Violations:

1. Design Defect
The main reason for individuals filing lawsuits against Philips was that their devices were defective and dangerous to the user. Foam used in the device became toxic as it degraded, which was known to cause cancers and other medical issues.

2. Failure To Warn
In addition to the design defects with known health impacts, Philips failed to warn the public as soon as they became aware of the issue. It has been alleged that Philips CPAP and Sleen Apnea Machine users had been experiencing health issues for years. Even though Philips only became aware of the problems in April 2021, they took nearly two months to issue a recall. Philips allowed customers to continue buying the devices, while they were already well aware of the health issues.

Mesothelioma & Asbestos Lawsuit

Jacksonville, FL based Mesothelioma & Abestos Attorney

Mesothelioma is a dangerous form of cancer that affects the mesothelium, a thin lining that covers many of the body's cavities and internal organs. Wherever this membrane is found, mesothelioma may develop. Areas containing mesothelium include the lining of the lungs, chest cavity, abdominal cavity, heart cavity, and the external surfaces of the majority of internal organs. Mesothelioma is primarily linked to asbestos exposure. Microscopic asbestos particles in the air can alter cell biology and result in the development of mesothelioma.

Because these asbestos particles stay in the body after being inhaled, mesothelioma development can take years or even decades after the initial exposure. Even brief exposures to asbestos fibers have been found to cause mesothelioma or other cancers, and there is no known safe level of asbestos exposure.

History Of Asbestos & Mesothelioma

Asbestos is a naturally occurring substance that can be found all across the United States. Prior to the 1970s and 1980s, asbestos was widely used in construction, manufacturing, and other industries. It is a fibrous mineral that is neither heavy nor combustible. It was once a common option for things like residential insulation and textile manufacturing. In addition, it was utilized in a wide range of other products, including flooring, pipes, boilers, brake shoes, and ships.

Unfortunately, asbestos has a high potential to cause cancer and is also highly carcinogenic. Microscopic asbestos fibers can cause long-term harm to the lungs when they become embedded there after being inhaled, even in minute amounts. This harm raises the possibility of asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma, particularly brutal and aggressive lung cancer that frequently takes many years to manifest.

Although the United States began to implement various partial bans and restrictions on the use of asbestos in the 1970s, it is still one of the few industrialized countries that does not have a formalized total ban on its use.

Despite abundant evidence showing that manufacturers and insurance providers have been aware of asbestos hazards since at least the 1930s, asbestos continued to be widely used in the United States from the 1900s until the late 1980s. Even though the majority of asbestos used in the U.S. has since been eliminated, thousands of people were exposed to this deadly substance for years due to the carelessness of big businesses.

Types of Mesothelioma

Pleural Mesothelioma

Approximately 75% of cases of mesothelioma are this type, making it the most prevalent type. This type of cancer develops in the lungs and chest cavity before spreading to any organ, including the brain. Pleural mesothelioma symptoms include persistent chest pain that is localized, severe breathing problems, coughing, weight loss, fatigue, and fever.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Peritoneal mesothelioma, which accounts for 10 to 20 percent of mesothelioma cases, begins in the abdominal cavity and can spread to the liver, spleen, or bowel. Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms include abdominal pain or swelling, nausea, vomiting, foot swelling, fever, constipation, diarrhea, anemia, and unexpected weight loss.

Pericardial Mesothelioma

This particular form of mesothelioma, a rare form of the cancer, begins in the membrane encircling the heart and affects about 1% of mesothelioma patients. Heart palpitations or murmurs, chest pain, a cough, trouble breathing, fatigue, and fever are all signs of pericardial mesothelioma.

Testicular Mesothelioma

This uncommon form of mesothelioma, also known as tunica vaginalis mesothelioma, affects the inner lining of the sac around the testis and accounts for 0.3% to 5% of all cases of malignant mesothelioma. A painless scrotal mass with fluid buildup is the primary clinical symptom in patients with malignant mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis testis (hydrocele).

Symptoms Of Mesothelioma

Depending on the type of mesothelioma a patient has, symptoms can vary. However, the following are the most typical signs and symptoms of pleural mesothelioma:

  • Chest tightness or discomfort
  • Persistent, painful, or dry cough
  • Inability of lungs to retain fluid
  • Breathing issues or shortness of breath
  • Unexpected weight loss

Mesothelioma symptoms can be confused with a number of different illnesses, including less serious conditions. Because of this, anyone who has a history of asbestos exposure should consult a doctor as soon as they experience any respiratory issues.

X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs are among the imaging procedures your doctor will want to carry out. Your doctor will need to perform a biopsy to remove all or a portion of the tumor in order to make an accurate diagnosis.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Conservatively, the United States government estimates that nearly one million Americans have been exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune. The poisoned include veterans, Marines, sailors, Coast Guard, spouses, children (including those in utero), other family members, and civilian workers. The dangerous chemicals that poisoned Camp Lejeune's drinking water are presumptively connected to causing many types of cancers, illnesses, and diseases. If you or a loved one were stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 and drank water for at least 30 combined days, you may be eligible to submit a Camp Lejeune toxic water claim.

Talcum Powder

Overview

Talc appears in a wide range of products, including talcum powder (baby powder), feminine hygiene products, makeup, lotions, and deodorant. As talcum powder is known for its odor-and-moisture-absorbing properties, some women use it in their genital area.

In nature, talc deposits are often found near dangerous accumulations of the carcinogenic mineral asbestos. Asbestos has been linked to many types of cancer, including ovarian cancer and mesothelioma, a rare disease of the lungs. Even trace amounts of asbestos have the potential to cause cancer, and diagnoses are often made decades after a talc-containing product was used.

About the Talcum Powder Lawsuit

More than 20 studies done since 1971 have linked talcum (talc) powder to ovarian cancer. In 2003, an analysis of 16 of these studies found that women using talcum powder were 33 percent more likely to develop ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson, the maker of popular talc-based products, failed to warn women about the risk of ovarian cancer, despite allegedly knowing about the risk since at least 1982.

Additionally, The New York Times recently discovered and reported on information that shows Johnson & Johnson knew of the possible link to asbestos in their talc products. The company had been trying for decades to keep this negative information from the public.

Does Talcum Powder Cause Cancer?

Researchers have been investigating the potential connection between ovarian cancer and talcum powder for many years. When applied close to the genitalia, talc powder can make its way into ovaries and ovarian tissue. Although talc is a naturally occurring mineral, the body finds it exceedingly challenging to eliminate the particles on its own, which can lead to inflammation and the development of cancerous tumors.

In 1971, a study appearing in the medical journal The Lancet raised a concern about the possibility that talc might cause ovarian cancer. A majority of observed ovarian cancers had talc particles present. The risk of developing ovarian cancer was then shown to be 92 percent higher in women who used talcum powder during ovulation in 1982, according to the study. Twenty-one other studies on talc powder were conducted over the following three decades, and nearly all of them revealed an elevated risk of ovarian cancer in women who used these items close to their genitalia.

Today, talc use close to the genitalia is regarded as a "risk factor" for ovarian cancer by both the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society. Johnson & Johnson and other talc powder producers have not labeled their goods with warnings about this risk, despite the potential connection.

Toxic Baby Formula

Premature infants often require additional nutrition to support their immature bodies and make up for their low birth weight. Many doctors will advise parents to feed their children formula, however recent research indicates that particular types of formula may contribute to the development of necrotizing enterocolitis in infants, a potentially fatal digestive disorder. Even worse, some baby formula producers, like Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson & Company, failed to add a warning label to their products, putting more innocent parents and their kids in danger.

Before releasing their products to market, Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson & Company had a duty to ensure that their products are safe. Families all around the world have had to deal with losing their children to what they believed to be a safe product.

If your child has developed NEC as a result of their baby formula, Brochu Law will fight on your behalf to hold those responsible accountable.

Exactech Knee & Ankle Replacement

Exactech, a medical device company, has announced a recall on all of its knee and ankle replacement implant systems that were manufactured after 2004. It is estimated that this recall impacts the implants used on 150,000 knee replacements in the US. The recall was made after it was discovered that the vacuum-sealed packaging of the device was defective, causing a polyethylene insert of the device to oxidize before use. This oxidation of this component was causing the component to significantly degrade, which lead to increase friction and wear of the device and ultimately premature failure.

As a result of the defect, patients with the Exactech replacement systems may need to undergo premature revision surgery, to correct the defect before it completely fails. Patients that already experienced failure of their replacement system, will need to undergo corrective surgery to fix the failed device.

Exactech has a legal obligation to ensure its products are safe when used for its intended purpose and free of defects or flaws. Anyone with an Exactech replacement system implanted after 2004 that required revision surgery due to the device's failure may be eligible to file a product liability lawsuit. The injured party may be entitled to damages for medical expenses for treatment or corrective surgery, lost wages as a result of the device failure, and pain and suffering.

If you or a loved one have an Exactech replacement system, contact Brochu Law today for a free consultation. You may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against Exactech.

Paraquat

Paraquat, commonly known as Gramoxone, has long been recognized by scientists as dangerous to humans. In fact, paraquat is so deadly that one sip of the herbicide is enough to kill an adult. The development of Parkinson's disease, however, may be connected to recurring exposure to paraquat at low doses, according to a number of research studies. One study found that paraquat exposure significantly raises the risk of Parkinson's disease, by approximately 150 percent.

The usage of paraquat is prohibited in more than 60 nations. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not done anything to limit the use of the pesticide despite a rise in health issues and legal challenges regarding its link to Parkinson's disease.

Agricultural workers and farmers continue to be in danger of exposure as paraquat use rises in the U.S. Numerous people have previously filed lawsuits alleging that Paraquat exposure caused their Parkinson's illness and that Syngenta, the product's maker, was negligent in failing to alert them to the risks of exposure.

F.A.Q.s

General

How much does a mass tort attorney cost?

We represent our mass tort clients on a contingency fee basis. There is no fee unless you win. We advance all costs on behalf of our clients.

Do you offer free consultations?
Yes! Each life insurance claim case is unique in its own ways. We would love to speak with you and provide the best strategy for your situation.
Do I have to live in Florida for Brochu Law to take my case?

No. Brochu Law takes cases in all 50 states regardless of life insurance company or location of beneficiary. No matter where you live in the United States, Brochu Law can represent you. Christopher J. Brochu is licensed in the state of Florida. Brochu Law uses local counsel outside of Florida in accordance with state and federal law.

Talcum Powder Lawsuits

Why are people filing lawsuits?

Thousands of individuals who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and mesothelioma have brought legal action against companies with products containing talc. Victims in numerous recent cases against Johnson & Johnson claim that using the company’s talc-based products regularly for years caused them to get cancer.

The lawsuits make the claim that Johnson & Johnson and other defendants were aware that their products contained asbestos for many years. Internal J&J documents claim that the business kept this information from the public and refused to label its products with safety warnings or take them off the shelf.

How many talcum powder lawsuits have been filed?

More than 13,000 cases were still active against Johnson & Johnson as of March 2019. Additional companies that manufacture talc products are also the target of ongoing lawsuits.

Have there been any talcum powder lawsuit settlements?

Numerous ovarian cancer and mesothelioma cases against Johnson & Johnson, Colgate-Palmolive, and other manufacturers have resulted in settlements and judgments.

The largest judgment against J&J came in July 2018, when a jury in St. Louis awarded $4.6 billion to 22 people who had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, after finding that the use of the company’s talcum powder was to blame for their cancer. Joanne Anderson received $25 million in May 2018 after a jury determined that her usage of talcum powder contributed to her mesothelioma. Patricia Schmitz, who was diagnosed with terminal mesothelioma after using Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-talc Palmolive’s products, was awarded $10 million in June 2019.

How are companies responding to talcum powder lawsuits?

Companies continue to hold the position that their products are safe, do not contain asbestos, and do not cause cancer despite numerous losing verdicts and settlements.

Who can file a talcum powder lawsuit?

You may be qualified to bring a lawsuit on your own if you used talc-based goods and later developed mesothelioma or ovarian cancer, particularly if you used them consistently over a long period of time.

The likelihood that a talc-containing product contributed to your cancer increases with how frequently and how long you used it. It is in your best interest to talk with a lawyer as soon as you can after receiving your diagnosis because the statutes of limitations for bringing a lawsuit differ from state to state.

What damages could you recover from a talcum powder lawsuit?

The type of case you file will determine what damages you can receive. For instance, numerous consumers are suing Johnson & Johnson in a class action lawsuit for damages relating to the product’s price. It’s crucial to realize that class actions do not pay for personal medical expenses.

On the other hand, if you bring a claim on your own behalf, you might be entitled to remuneration for your suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and other costs. The final compensation amount will vary based on the specifics of your case, including the cost of your medical bills, the symptoms you suffered, and the amount of time you lost from work.

Why should I hire a talcum powder lawsuit attorney?

At Brochu Law, your best interests are of great importance to us. We will ensure that you stick to deadlines, explain your legal rights to you in detail, and provide you with reliable expert witnesses to support your case.

Toxic Baby Formula

How many toxic baby formula lawsuits have been filed?

To date, parents have filed multiple lawsuits against baby formula manufacturers after their children developed necrotizing enterocolitis following the use of Similac, Enfamil, and other similar formulas.

What is Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)?

Necrotizing enterocolitis is a digestive condition that mostly affects preterm newborns. It can cause intestinal lining inflammation, which can result in life-threatening infections. In these circumstances, the inflammatory intestinal membrane eventually erodes away, allowing bacteria to enter the intestinal system and endanger the baby’s health. The following symptoms could be an indication of NEC::

  • Swollen, red, or tender stomach
  • Abdominal pressure
  • Diarrhea
  • Fluctuations in temperature
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Low blood pressure

A majority of infants who survive the disease do so with severe, long-lasting injuries. However, in the most severe cases, NEC can result in death.

What baby formula products can cause NEC?

According to studies, Similac, Enfamil, and similar products have been linked to causing NEC in premature babies.

Paraquat Lawsuits

How is Paraquat used?

Crops including corn, soy, cotton, peanuts, wheat, almonds, strawberries, grapes, sweet potatoes, and others are among the many crops that farmers utilize paraquat to grow. Due to its efficiency fighting against “superweeds” that have evolved resistance to glyphosate, its use has increased over the past ten years and is anticipated to continue growing (i.e. Roundup). Prior to harvest, it can also be used to desiccate crops like cotton. More than 10 million pounds of paraquat are applied by farmers annually.

The EPA defines paraquat as a “restricted use pesticide” due to the hazardous toxicity levels. Products containing paraquat can only be used by licensed applicators who have undergone EPA-approved training. Paraquat is not intended for use by homeowners, and it cannot be used in or next to residential areas, parks, golf courses, or playgrounds.

What is the connection between paraquat use and Parkinson's disease?

According to scientific studies, paraquat users are twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease at some point in their life. Additionally, persons who reside near a paraquat-using area are also at risk because the wind can spread the airborne chemical into populated areas. The manufacturer of the pesticide refused to acknowledge the potential consequences despite several scientific investigations into the safety of paraquat, exposing thousands of people to a dangerous chemical for more than ten years.

What studies have been done on paraquat linking it to Parkinson's disease?

Paraquat usage and Parkinson’s disease have been linked in numerous scientific investigations. According to a 2011 research of American farmers, those who used paraquat had twice the increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease compared to those who didn’t. According to other research, sustained exposure over an extended length of time raises the likelihood of acquiring Parkinson’s. A person’s zip code and proximity to cropland where paraquat is used are also related to their likelihood of getting Parkinson’s, according to data from Louisiana State University.

Parkinson’s disease is thought to be brought on by a dopamine shortage, according to scientists. Paraquat can damage dopamine-producing nerve cells in the brain. According to experts at the University of Rochester, paraquat enters the brain directly by inhalation, which might occur if employees come into contact with aerosolized droplets while spraying crops. However, paraquat exposure can also occur through the skin or food, with potential to cause brain damage. Paraquat is spread throughout the entire body once it enters, according to the CDC.

Who is at risk of developing Parkinson's as a result of paraquat?

The greatest risk of exposure to paraquat is among farmers and agricultural workers who work closely with and around it. The following scenarios are the most likely to result in exposure:

    • Mixing or loading paraquat
    • Spraying paraquat
    • Maintaining tanks and equipment used to spray paraquat
    • Spending time in fields where paraquat was sprayed

However, exposure risks are not just present for those working in agriculture. Evidence points to the possibility of paraquat drifting from the application site to surrounding areas. As a result, paraquat used on crops may be exposed to residents of agricultural areas. In addition to contaminating publically sold fruits, vegetables, nuts, and cereals, paraquat may also contaminate groundwater or well water.

Why are people filing paraquat lawsuits?

Unfortunately, exposure to paraquat has led to the development of Parkinson’s disease in a large number of people, especially those who live close to agricultural areas where the dangerous chemical is utilized. Particularly disconcerting is the substance’s widespread use, as many farmers largely rely on paraquat without being aware of its detrimental effects. Brochu Law can assist you in obtaining the compensation you might be due if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease as a result of paraquat exposure.

Despite being aware of the risk associated with their product, Syngenta chose not to disclose it to the public, exposing thousands of agricultural workers without making them aware of the potentially dangerous side effects. Parkinson’s patients need ongoing care to improve their quality of life, which is a considerable price to pay without adequate reimbursement. However, if Syngenta is found liable for its wrongdoing, you may be able to get reimbursed for your expenses for medical care, lost wages, and suffering.

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