Articles Posted in Product Liability

Paraquat1-300x200As the number of claims filed continues to multiply, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has ordered all paraquat lawsuits to be consolidated. The paraquat multidistrict litigation, MDL No. 3004, will be administered by the Honorable Nancy J. Rosenstengel at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation’s decision indicates that paraquat lawsuits are rapidly building momentum and could soon develop into a mass tort.

How Is Multidistrict Litigation Beneficial?

When personal injury or product liability cases affect large numbers of plaintiffs, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation can implement special pretrial proceedings known as multidistrict litigation. In which multiple claims sharing common legal issues are provisionally combined and moved to a district court. The chosen district court supervises the discovery and pretrial litigation for the group of cases. Multidistrict litigation helps conserve resources while supporting consistent court rulings for different claims involving similar matters of law. By eliminating duplicate discovery demands, depositions, and other pretrial procedures, they help streamline cases. Upon completion of pretrial proceedings, several lawsuits may be designated to serve as bellwether trials. The judgments from the bellwether trials often serve as a basis for possible settlement amounts in the remaining claims. Unsettled lawsuits are transferred back to be tried at the courts of original jurisdiction. While the issues surrounding the plaintiffs’ injuries are similar, the injuries can vary in severity. Thus, multidistrict litigations provide victims with an opportunity to address the nature of their damages independently.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is investigating a multistate outbreak of potentially dangerous bacteria. Hand soaps linked to Burkholderia Cepacia infections, sold at Walmart and other retailers, were voluntarily recalled over health concerns. B. Cepacia is the name given for at least 20 different species of bacteria that are often antibiotic-resistant.

Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest public health threats of modern times. Unfortunately, roughly 2.8 million victims contract antibiotic-resistant infections, and over 35,000 of those suffer fatalities each year. According to the CDC, B. Cepacia is found in soil and water, but contaminated medicines usually cause human infections. Although B. Cepacia poses minimal risk to healthy individuals, those with certain sicknesses, such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, and weakened immune systems, may be more vulnerable to infections, which can cause severe lung disease and even death.

What Scent Theory Products are Contaminated? 

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