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Earlier this week, U.S. consumer product manufacturing giant Johnson & Johnson announced that it will no longer be selling the company’s talc-based baby powder products in the United States and Canada. The announcement comes after years of litigation surrounding allegations that the company’s talc-based baby powder may cause cancer. The announcement also follows last year’s recall of a batch of baby powder that was found to have potentially unsafe levels of asbestos, the cancer-causing agent that was at the center of the litigation.

Baby Powder

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According to a recent news report, Johnson & Johnson stands behind the safety of its baby powder, and claims to have decided to stop selling the product due to shifting consumer habits, rather than safety concerns. Along those lines, a Johnson & Johnson representative issued a statement explaining that the company “remains steadfastly confident in the safety of talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder” and that it will “vigorously defend the product, its safety, and the unfounded allegations against it and the company in the courtroom.”

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Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning regarding

FDA Warnings

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two breast implant manufacturers for their failure to comply with specific regulatory requirements. According to the official FDA press release, the FDA sent warning letters to Allergan and Ideal Implant Incorporated.

The Warning Letters

Under United States regulations, the manufacturers of silicone breast implants must conduct studies to ensure the continued safety of their products, even after the product has obtained FDA approval. According to the FDA, these post-approval studies are designed to “further evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the products and to answer additional scientific questions about the long-term safety and potential risks of breast implants that their premarket clinical trials were not designed to answer.”

Notably, the FDA requires this follow-up testing even if the manufacturer voluntarily recalls a product. These post-approval studies are crucial to evaluate the continued safety of recalled breast implants for those who already have had the devices implanted.

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FDA RecallEarlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a news release requesting manufacturers to withdraw all products containing the popular heartburn drug, ranitidine, the active ingredient in the medication, Zantac. The order applies to both prescription and over-the-counter medications. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 national emergency, those who have medicine containing ranitidine on hand are being asked not to return the product to the pharmacy, as is typically recommended. Instead, the FDA is recommending the medication be destroyed according to the disposal suggestion contained in the medication guide or package insert. All formulations of ranitidine are impacted, including pills, injections, and compounded medications that include ranitidine.

The recent recall is the latest step in an escalating investigation surrounding a contaminant known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is commonly found in ranitidine. Through its research, the FDA found that the impurities in some ranitidine products increase over time when stored at higher temperatures, potentially resulting in dangerous levels of NDMA.

In its official statement, the FDA explained that it didn’t see unacceptable levels of NDMA in the many samples they tested. Nevertheless, since they did not know how or for how long the product might have been stored they decided that it should not be available to consumers and patients unless its quality could be assured.

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In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a division of the World Health Organization, classified glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, as a possible carcinogen. While this is not the first product that presents a risk of cancer to users, the Roundup cases are unique because so many people have been exposed to the product. Since the discovery that Roundup may cause cancer, there have been thousands of product liability lawsuits filed against Bayer, the German manufacturing giant. Bayer purchased Monsanto, the company that initially created and marketed Roundup, in 2018.


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These product liability claims seek to hold the company accountable for tragic effects caused by its herbicide, which the company did not disclose to consumers. Over the past few years, several of these cases went to trial, resulting in multi-million-dollar verdicts, totaling over $2 billion to date.

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Earlier this year, the manufacture of the popular herbicide, Roundup, was found to be liable in a series of product liability lawsuits and ordered to pay a total of $2 billion in punitive damages. In addition to these cases, there are approximately 13,400 others who are waiting for their case to be heard, all of whom claim that glyphosate, the chemical found in Roundup, is responsible for their cancer diagnoses.

Roundup in cereal

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Over the years, Roundup has been used to treat crops across the United States. It is also used as a desiccant, or a drying agent, that is sprayed onto crops – especially oats – just before they are harvested. Farmers use glyphosate to kill the crop so that it dries out faster, allowing manufacturers to process the oats more quickly. As a result, it has been suggested that high levels of glyphosate can be found in certain oat products. Thus, the dangerousness of Roundup may not only affect adults who used the product, but also anyone who consumes food containing glyphosate.

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The truth is that manufacturers are most interested in making a profit. Some manufacturers place dangerous products into the stream of commerce, putting millions of lives at risk. Often, there is something more that could be done to create a safer product; however, manufacturers may need encouragement to make their products safer. This encouragement frequently comes from a manufacturer’s fear of legal liability associated with a lawsuit, such as an Illinois product liability claim.


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Take cigarettes, for example. For decades, there has been widespread agreement that smoking is hazardous to health. Indeed, tobacco companies are still facing lawsuits brought on behalf of those who have died due to complications caused by smoking. However, over the years, society has become more informed about the dangers of tobacco, and more recently the trend has shifted away from smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes and toward “vaping.”

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The second phase of the bifurcated trial determining whether Monsanto should be held liable for the non-Hodgkins lymphoma suffered by a man after using the Monsanto product Roundup for decades has concluded. The culmination of the trial resulted in a jury award of over $5.6 million in compensatory damages and $200,000 for medical expenses to the plaintiff, and $75 million in punitive damages. The damages awarded are not only meant to compensate the plaintiff for the harm he suffered, but also to punish Monsanto for inappropriate conduct related to the product. While Bayer, the company that purchased Monsanto, issued a statement that it did not believe the subject case would impact future cases, the opposite is most likely true. Although each case must be assessed on its unique facts, it is probable that the subject case will have far-reaching effects on cases throughout the country in which it is alleged that Roundup caused a plaintiff’s harm, including Illinois toxic tort cases.

Evidence Presented in the Second Phase

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Yesterday, a six-person jury concluded that Roundup was a substantial cause of plaintiff’s non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The verdict sends a clear message to Bayer, the company that purchased Monsanto, and for the 11,000 plaintiffs in cases already filed in courts around the country – there is a link between glyphosate and cancer. Because of the case’s national importance, the jury’s recent decision will affect many Illinois toxic tort plaintiffs, as well as those across the country.

According to a recent news report covering the trial, the case involves a man who claimed that use of the defendant’s weed-killer, Round-Up, caused him to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). Evidently, the plaintiff used the weed-killer over 300 times in his 26-year career. The plaintiff also claims that the manufacturer attempted to influence scientists, regulators, and the general public regarding the safety of the product.

The case is important for several reasons. First, it is only the second case in which jurors have had to determine whether the chemical composition in Round-Up is a substantial factor in causing NHL. The defendant manufacturer claims that its product is safe for human use, regardless of exposure levels. However, the plaintiff argues numerous studies contradict the manufacturer’s assertions, showing that the risk of developing cancer increases with the level of exposure to the product. The only previous case involved a successful claim by a California man who recovered $289 million earlier last year.

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If not properly maintained, Illinois nursing homes and skilled care facilities can be breeding grounds for various types of bacteria that can lead to outbreaks of serious diseases or illnesses. While most Illinois nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and skilled care facilities take the necessary precautions to ensure that the facilities are kept sanitary, not all facilities prioritize cleanliness as they should. In these facilities, residents are at an increased risk of contracting serious illnesses.

According to a recent news report, a resident in a Manteno veterans’ home was diagnosed with Legionnaire’s disease earlier this month. Evidently, the resident was diagnosed early in the morning, and by the afternoon the Veteran’s Administration had implemented an “active water management program” and was reaching out to residents, family members, and attorneys to inform them of the recent diagnosis.

Legionnaire’s Disease

Legionnaire’s disease is a severe form of pneumonia that is usually caused by some kind of infection. The disease is not spread from person to person by physical contact, but is contracted by inhaling the bacteria Legionella. Smokers, older adults, and those with weakened immune systems are at an increased risk of contracting Legionnaire’s disease.

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hurt child

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Victims of childhood sexual abuse in Illinois may find the legal system daunting in addition to dealing with the trauma of the abuse they have suffered. Indeed, many different laws and standards can apply in a case. Under Illinois’s Code of Civil Procedure, sexual abuse includes but is not limited to sexual conduct and sexual penetration as defined in the Criminal Code. Childhood Sexual Abuse is defined as “an act of sexual abuse” when the abused person is under 18 years old. Generally, a claim based on childhood sexual abuse must be filed within 20 years of the date the statute of limitations began to run, or within 20 years of the date the victim discovers or should discover both “that the act of childhood sexual abuse occurred” and “that the injury was caused by the childhood sexual abuse.”

In 2017, Illinois eliminated the statute of limitations for criminal prosecutions for felony criminal sexual assault and sexual abuse crimes against children. The law applies to future cases as well as then-current cases in which the old statute of limitations had not yet expired. Before the change in the law, most serious sexual offenses against children had to be prosecuted within 20 years of the survivor turning 18 years old. Although the statute of limitations is shorter for civil cases, there are several exceptions that may extend the statute of limitations. If you were the victim of abuse and have questions about the timing of filing a case, reach out to a dedicated Illinois sexual abuse attorney.

Catholic Church Failed to Disclose Names of Priests Accused of Abuse

Illinois’s Attorney General announced this week that six Catholic dioceses in the state did not disclose the names of at least 500 priests who have been accused of sexual abuse, according to one news source. The state’s investigation was sparked by a Pennsylvania grand jury report that found there were 300 “predator priests” in that state.

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