Published: September, 2023. TV spend from multiple sources for a recent 3 months period.
In this edition of mass tort spends, we bring you an exclusive glimpse into the hottest trending torts and ad spends in the month of August.
This piece delves deep into the hottest trends in mass tort cases, providing valuable insights.
Camp Lejeune ad spends marginally increased this month as opposed to $1.5M last month. However, there hasn’t been any settlements till date. With more than 1,100 lawsuits filed against Camp Lejeune, and 93,000 administrative claims, the federal government estimates a total payout of over $20 billion to veterans.
It has been over a year since the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was enacted but these cases continue to grind forward slowly. The Department of Navy issued a statement indicating that it is committed to resolving these claims but appears to be extremely understaffed.
The district courts requested that the Court extend all deadlines until September 1, 2023, so that the parties may agree on a scheduling order for moving forward.
However, the DOJ wants to slow down the trial process as much as it can despite the clear intent of the Congressionally-passed CLJA to compensate Camp Lejeune victims. According to the plaintiffs’ joint report, the DOJ contends that the Lejeune cases are “immature” and should be handled slowly.
We hope to see progress on these cases before the end of 2023.
Fire Fighting Foam
Ad spends for AFFF have seen a slight spike this month. However, it still remains the hottest tort after the recent news over 3M settlements.
Over the past month, close to 500 new cases involving firefighting foam were moved into the MDL class action. This marks the highest number of new cases since the MDL began five years ago. Currently, the MDL is managing 5,227 pending cases; however, the recent resolution of water contamination cases through settlement will progressively bring down this count.
It is anticipated that this will be one of the most widespread and long-lasting mass tort litigations in history due to the global impact of the PFAS found in aqueous fire fighting foam.
Chemical Hair Straightener
Despite a notable decrease in spending this month, the hair relaxer class action litigation is gaining momentum.
As of August 2023 – There are 275 pending cases in the hair relaxer class action MDL.
Judge Rowland approved adopting an official Short Form Complaint (SFC) for all future hair relaxer plaintiffs.
New hair relaxer cancer lawsuits can now be filed directly in the class action MDL using the official Short Form Complaint. This will allow plaintiffs to refer to the new master complaint and help streamline the process in new case filings.
Talc witnessed a dip in ad spends this month. J&J’s latest bankruptcy rejection led to a significant drop in the company’s shares. Johnson & Johnson’s second attempt to use Chapter 11 bankruptcy to address talc injury claims was rejected by a New Jersey bankruptcy judge recently.
Nonetheless, after Johnson & Johnson’s second talc bankruptcy was rejected, plaintiffs are now pushing for trials across the country, with lawyers in the baby powder multidistrict litigation proposing a plan for consolidated trials involving multiple talc plaintiffs.
With a marginal dip this month, Roundup continues to have the highest ad spends in 2023 so far.
Bayer has achieved victory in seven consecutive cases lately, but our anticipation is for a change in their fortunes this upcoming fall, as the Philadelphia trials are scheduled to commence.
In the previous month, Bayer reached a $6.9 million settlement to address a lawsuit brought by the New York State Attorney General. The lawsuit alleged that the company had deceived consumers by promoting Roundup as environmentally friendly. The basis of the lawsuit was that Roundup was not considered safe for the environment or for users due to the link between its active ingredient, glyphosate, and cancer. It will be intriguing to observe whether this settlement inspires other states to initiate comparable legal actions.
Paraquat maintains its unpredictable yet occasionally notable monthly TV ad spends. The Daubert hearings were conducted from August 21 to August 24, with closing briefs due by September 8.
Consequently, the bellwether trial set for October has been called off.
We eagerly anticipate next month’s Hot Tort Report to deliver the most recent developments concerning these crucial motions.