Emerging Mass Tort Cases to Monitor in 2023: A Comprehensive Overview

Mass tort litigations present complex legal cases that involve numerous plaintiffs spanning across counties, cities, or even states. These cases hold great significance in the legal world as they hold corporations accountable for negligence while seeking justice for a large number of victims affected by their actions or products. As we delve into 2023, there are several mass tort litigations that stand out due to new developments, substantial settlements, or significant rulings that have the potential to shape the landscape of similar cases in the future. From environmental contamination to product liability to defective medical devices, let’s explore the mass tort litigations to keep an eye on this year.

1. Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Continuing from the previous year, one of the most significant lawsuits revolves around the contamination of drinking water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Over a span of 30 years, service members, their families, and civilians living and working on the base were potentially exposed to toxic chemicals such as trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride. These contaminants have been linked to severe health conditions, including various cancers, leukemia, and Parkinson’s disease. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act empowers nearly one million victims to take legal action against the US government. Victims who were present at Camp Lejeune during the contamination period are now dispersed across the country, with claims expected to be filed throughout this year and beyond.

2. 3M Earplugs

The 3M earplug litigation represents one of the largest multi-district litigations in the United States, with approximately 260,000 plaintiffs suing 3M. Allegedly, the company provided defective earplugs to the US military between 2003 and 2015, resulting in hearing loss and tinnitus among service members. The first bellwether trial in April 2022 resulted in a $7.1 million verdict for the plaintiffs. However, the second trial ended in a mistrial due to juror misconduct. Despite 3M’s attempt to avoid further proceedings by filing for bankruptcy, U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers is determined to resume the litigation.

3. NEC Baby Formula

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a severe gastrointestinal disease primarily affecting premature infants, causing tissue death, infection, and sepsis. The disease has been linked to bovine milk-based baby formulas, including popular brands such as Similac and Enfamil. Lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson Nutrition, alleging their failure to warn consumers and healthcare professionals about the increased risk of NEC associated with their products.

4. Talcum Powder

Talcum powder, commonly used in hygiene and cosmetic products, can be contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen. Thousands of individuals have filed lawsuits against manufacturers such as Johnson & Johnson, accusing them of causing ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, and other diseases through asbestos exposure in their talc-based products. Plaintiffs argue that these manufacturers were aware of the contamination but failed to warn consumers about the associated risks. Lawsuits are ongoing, and as of April 2023, Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $8.9 billion to tens of thousands of claimants.

5. AFFF Fire Foam

Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) is utilized to extinguish fires caused by flammable liquids and gases. However, AFFF contains per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), commonly known as “forever chemicals.” PFAS are synthetic chemicals that do not biodegrade and can accumulate in the environment and the human body. PFAS exposure has been linked to various injuries and cancers, including kidney, pancreatic, prostate, and testicular cancer. Firefighters and workers exposed to AFFF may be eligible to file mass tort claims against the manufacturers, such as 3M, Tyco, Dupont, and others. As of May 2023, over 4,000 plaintiffs are involved in this litigation.

6. Hair Relaxers

Hair relaxers, predominantly used by African American women to straighten curly hair, often contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) like phthalates. These chemicals can interfere with hormone production and have been linked to uterine and ovarian cancers. A long-standing study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed that women who used hair relaxers more than four times per year had a 150% increase in uterine and ovarian cancer risk. Lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers such as L’Oreal, Revlon, and Strength of Nature, with further litigation expected to follow.

7. Hernia Mesh

Hernia mesh is a medical device used to repair hernias by reinforcing weak spots in the abdominal wall. However, if the mesh is defective, it can cause various complications, including infection, abdominal pain, adhesion to other organs, intestinal blockage, perforation, mesh migration, and hernia recurrence. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against hernia mesh manufacturers, including Atrium Medical Corporation, C.R. Bard, and Ethicon, alleging the sale of defective devices to consumers. In August 2022, a jury ruled that a subsidiary of C.R. Bard pay $4.8 million to a Hawaiian man who suffered complications from the company’s mesh implant. The third bellwether trial is scheduled for October 18, 2023.

The Significance of Mass Torts

Mass tort litigations offer law firms the opportunity to expand their practice and make a substantial impact on the lives of numerous individuals seeking justice. By staying informed about the latest legal proceedings and closely monitoring developing cases, attorneys can sharpen their skills, assist more people, and achieve greater success.

How Best Case Leads Can Support Your Firm

Now that you are aware of the significant mass tort cases in 2023, it’s essential to develop marketing campaigns that capture the attention of your target audience and guide them to your law firm. Best Case Leads is here to handle the workload while you reap the benefits.

We specialize in helping law firms generate more clients and establish stronger connections between claimants, referral firms, and your practice. Through our consumer-facing brands, we reach out to potential claimants across various advertising channels, including television, radio, social media, and more. These claimants contact our 24/7 in-house call center, where they are thoroughly screened for eligibility based on criteria created in collaboration with leading litigators. We then deliver these pre-qualified retainers to your firm, eliminating any additional work on your end.

This streamlined process allows attorneys to help more individuals without adding to their workload, while claimants gain greater access to the legal assistance they require. If you would like to learn more, contact us at (877) 795-2953 or complete our online contact form today. Together, we can make a difference.

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