Seasons Change - But Companies Are Up to Their Old Tricks...
March is here – can you believe it? Things are really starting to pick up here over at ClassAction.org. This week’s newsletter has a pretty wide range of topics: there’s news of Jeeps that roll away without warning, troublesome plumbing valves, and concerns over the FDA’s ability to do its job. We’re also highlighting a new section on our website – our workplace discrimination pages. No matter where you work, if you’re fired because of your race, gender or other “protected characteristic,” you may be able to file a lawsuit seeking money from the company that terminated you. Read on, learn more about your rights and remember to check out the latest settlements at the bottom of the newsletter.
Abilify, an antipsychotic used in the treatment of certain psychological conditions, is at the center of several lawsuits after users accused the manufacturer, Bristol-Myers, of failing to provide adequate warnings about the drug’s side effects. Specifically, patients allege that taking Abilify caused them to develop compulsive gambling habits – a side effect that’s listed on the drug’s labeling in Europe and Canada, but not in the United States. As such, plaintiffs in the lawsuits claim that Bristol-Myers owes them compensation for financial losses and others damages stemming from their pathological gambling. If this happened to you, attorneys working with ClassAction.org would like to speak with you. Read more.
Dozens of complaints have surfaced online of 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs rolling away after being put in park – and attorneys are now investigating whether lawsuits can be filed. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has already announced its own investigation into the problem – and as many as 400,000 vehicles may be affected. There hasn’t be a recall yet, but owners of Jeeps with electronic gear selection seem to be particularly at risk – with one reported case already ending in more than $3000 worth of damage after a parked Jeep rolled backward into another car. If you own a 2014 – 2015 Jeep SUV and had this happen to you, let us know. You may be able to help with our investigation. Learn more.
Workers, Know Your Rights: Discrimination Suits Mounting
The United States has a long and complex history of anti-discrimination legislation. But over the years, the country has built a robust system of laws designed to protect you from losing your job because of your race, gender, orientation, family life, religion, age, disability or national origin. When employers break these laws and illegally discriminate against workers, there is a system in place to fight back. There’s also a lot of confusion, though, and many people can feel overwhelmed or unsure if they’ve even been discriminated against. Now, ClassAction.org has a number of pages that can help. Our disability and chronic Illness page explains the rights of workers who may have been fired because of their health or disability. Our pregnancy and wrongful termination page covers women who have lost their jobs because they were pregnant, while our gender discrimination and sexual harassment pages cover workers who have been fired because of their sex/gender or who were forced to quit or were fired following harassment at work. We also have pages covering age discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination, religious discrimination, and racial or ethnic discrimination. And, as always, if you have any questions, you can always get in touch using the form on our website.
Our settlements page is always being updated. Have you checked to see if you're covered by any open settlements? You can also check out the latest settlements as they happen by following us on Twitter.
Blue Buffalo Pet Food
Tom's of Maine
JPMorgan Chase (March 23)
Allstate (March 31)
Automotive Dealer Parts (March 31)
To view a complete list of settlements and to find out how you can file a claim, click here.
Farm and agricultural workers who used Roundup herbicide as part of their jobs and were later diagnosed with cancer may be able to take legal action. Allegations have surfaced that Roundup may be linked to an increased risk of cancer and that Monsanto failed to provide proper warnings to those who were exposed to its herbicide. Lawsuits have already been filed – and attorneys working with ClassAction.org would like to hear from any farm workers who would like to know more about their rights. Read on.
Attorneys are investigating whether Victualic's butterfly valves – used most commonly in commercial properties – have a design defect that causes part of the valve to fail when exposed to chloramines, a type of water treatment sometimes used instead of chlorine. It is believed that the part can degrade and cause the valve to fail, possibly leading to property damage. Attorneys investigating these claims are looking for commercial property managers, engineers and others who own and/or operate buildings that use Victualic’s 608 butterfly valves. If you have these in your property, you may be able to recover the cost of any damage caused by the valves. Read more.
A number of major life insurance companies are being investigated by attorneys following reports that the companies have been carrying out secret transactions, often using offshore companies, to manipulate the public’s perception of their financial health. Anyone who holds annuities or universal life insurance policies may be affected by these transactions, which often seem to hide the amount of money held in reserves to pay out policyholders’ claims. More than eight companies investigated by state authorities were found to have less than is legally required to pay out future claims, including those that would follow a major terrorist attack. For the full list of life insurance companies under investigation, visit our dedicated page.
Following its initial report on the cancer risk associated with formaldehyde levels in Lumber Liquidators’ flooring, the CDC admitted that a miscalculation caused them to underreport the risk, which may actually be three times higher than once thought – and therefore much more concerning. This is another twist in an already complicated story, but one that validates the concerns of thousands who were already worried about the hardwood flooring and its possible effect on their health. Read on.
A new report from the Government Accountability Agency has found that the FDA is approving too many things too quickly without doing proper quality checks – making it the latest in a long line of reports and think-pieces highlighting how the FDA is ineffective, overburdened, and overall not working. The report focuses on the speed with which almost a quarter of new drugs and devices get “fast tracked” to approval – and understandable concerns about quality and safety. It’s a welcome step in the right direction, though it’s hard to see things changing anytime soon.
~ Key Case Updates ~
Johnson & Johnson Hit by Talcum Powder Judgment
Johnson & Johnson has been hit with a $72 million verdict by a St. Louis jury in the case of a woman who died of ovarian cancer after using the company’s talcum powder for years. The link between talcum powder and cancer remains contentious, but this verdict will no doubt strengthen the cases of others who claim Johnson & Johnson is culpable for their cancer diagnoses. According to the lawsuits, the company knew about certain reports and studies highlighting the link – and worked to keep this information hidden or discredit the findings.
Pelvic Mesh Trials Ends in $13.5 Million Verdict
A Philadelphia jury has delivered its verdict in a case over J&J’s Ethicon unit’s transvaginal mesh. And it’s good news for mesh patients: $13.5 million in a ruling against the company, with jurors agreeing that the product was negligently designed and had contributed to serious injury. This is the latest result in the long-running mesh litigation taking place all over the country. For a full overview, click here.
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