Archives for posts with tag: lawsuit

From Chron.com (AP):

Arline MacCormackfirst heard about DES from her mother when she was 17. Three decades later, MacCormack believes that the drug her mother took to prevent miscarriages caused her to develop breast cancer at age 44.

MacCormack, of Newton, is one of 53 women from around the country who are suing drug companies who made and promoted DES for millions of pregnant women from about 1938 to the early 1970s. In 1971, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration told doctors to stop prescribing DES for their pregnant patients after a study found that taking DES during pregnancy appeared to increase the risk of developing a rare vaginal cancer years later for DES daughters in their teens and 20s.

DES, or diethylstilbestrol (dahy-eth-uhl-stil-bes’-trawl), is a synthetic estrogen that was prescribed to millions of women in the United States, Europe and other countries to prevent miscarriages, premature birth and other problems.

The case in Boston is being closely watched by DES daughters around the country. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed since the 1970s alleging links between DES and cervical and vaginal cancer, as well as infertility problems. Many of those cases were settled before trial. The Boston case is believed to be the first major litigation alleging a link between DES and breast cancer in DES daughters over the age of 40.

MacCormack, now 50, said she was stunned when she was diagnosed with breast cancer six years ago after having mammograms every six months since she turned 40 because she had had several benign cysts removed over the years.

“The characteristics of my cancer were for women over 60 typically. It wasn’t the type of cancer a 40-year-old or a 44-year-old woman gets,” said MacCormack.

“When I read the research that’s been done, I found I had more chance of getting it because my mom took DES,” she said.

The women’s lawyers say their case is supported by a recent study that suggests that breast cancer risk is nearly doubled in DES daughters over the age of 40. The average woman has about a 1 in 50 chance of developing breast cancer by 55. The study, led by Dr. Robert Hoover, a researcher at the National Cancer Institute, found that the chance for DES daughters is 1 in 25.

The lawsuit alleges that 14 drug manufacturers — including Eli Lilly and Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.— withheld from doctors and the FDA reports that showed DES did not prevent miscarriages and raised serious questions about the safety of the drug.

“This drug, DES, was the biggest human experiment of quackery in the history of medicine,” said Aaron Levine, a Washington, D.C., lawyer who filed the Boston lawsuit and represents another 18 DES daughters making similar claims.

Representatives and lawyers for Eli Lilly and Bristol-Myers Squibb declined to comment on the lawsuit.

In court and in public documents, the companies argue that a firm link between DES and breast cancer has not been established and that the DES daughters who are suing them have not shown that DES caused their cancers.

“We believe these claims are without merit and are prepared to defend against them vigorously,” Eli Lilly said in its most recent annual report.

More.

Image from Flickr.

Advertisements

From Charleston Gazette:

Jury selection in the class-action lawsuit against Monsanto will begin next week after no settlement was reached during about eight hours of mediation Tuesday, the lead plaintiffs’ attorney confirmed.

Residents allege in a class-action case, filed in 2004, that Monsanto unsafely burned dioxin wastes and spread contaminated soot and dust across Nitro, polluting homes with unsafe levels of the chemical.

The lawsuit set to begin next week will seek medical monitoring for at least 5,000 – and perhaps as many as 80,000 – current and former Nitro residents.

Before Putnam Circuit Judge O.C. Spaulding recused himself from hearing the case after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, he ruled that residents could not sue collectively to seek remediation of homes they allege are contaminated with dioxin.

On Tuesday, several hundred plaintiffs gathered at the Marriott hotel in Charleston for a court-ordered mediation. Circuit Judges Booker Stephens of McDowell County and Alan D. Moats of Taylor County attempted to resolve the case to avoid trial.

A mediation held in October also failed to produce a settlement.

Stuart Calwell, the lead plaintiffs’ attorney, said he plans to call 18 experts to testify during the trial.

“This is an extraordinarily important case,” Calwell said. “[Plaintiffs] want their town back. What they’re interested in is having a safe home to live in — I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”

Monsanto’s lead attorney, Charles Love of Charleston, would not comment on the upcoming trial.

For more than 50 years, the former Monsanto plant churned out herbicides, rubber products and other chemicals. The plant’s production of Agent Orange created dioxin as a toxic chemical byproduct.

More.

Image from USNews.

From Orlando Sentinel:

More than three dozen former factory workers have settled their multimillion-dollar five-year legal battle against Siemens Corp. and General Dynamics Corp. over toxins they allege the companies carelessly dumped into drinking water, causing them to develop cancer.

“I’m just glad it’s over with,” said Gladys Elder of Sanford, a 32-year employee at the plant at 400 Rinehart Road in Lake Mary that manufactured telecommunications equipment.

Elder, 70, developed kidney cancer a decade ago, and she, like dozens of others, accused the plant’s owners of making her sick by carelessly handling solvents.

Plant employees used toxins, including trichloroethene (TCE), to manufacture and clean circuit boards and other equipment.

In 2001, Siemens AG, the plant’s then-operator, ordered employees to stop drinking the water. That’s because it had discovered TCE, a chemical linked to cancer in laboratory animals and suspected of doing the same in humans, in the plant’s tap water.

Workers had used TCE from the time the plant opened in 1968 . . . according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Workers had poured the used solvent into 55-gallon drums that eventually became rusty and leaky and at times poured it down drains and sinks, according to the suit.

It then seeped into groundwater beneath the plant and was pumped back inside, where employees used it to wash their hands and brew coffee.

Before the plant closed in 2003, it was operated by five companies or business ventures, including United Technologies Corp., Marconi Communications Inc. and Siemens.

Each was a defendant in the suit.

* * *

Many of the employee-plaintiffs died while the suit was pending, Elder said.

More.

From Associated Press:

John Adams can’t see the nearly 3,000 cows on the dairy farm two miles from his Wisconsin home, but when the wind blows he can smell them.

The stench gives him and his wife headaches. They blame the big farm for contaminating their air and polluting the groundwater well they use for drinking, bathing and watering their garden. They no longer feel safe eating the vegetables they grow.

Adams also blames the state, which requires local governments to grant permits to large farms that meet certain limited criteria, even if there are additional environmental concerns. The rural farming town where he lives tried to impose stricter rules, only to be overruled by the state agriculture department.

Adams and seven neighbors, along with the town of Magnolia, sued the state and the farm in the first case of its kind to reach a state supreme court and the result could set a precedent throughout the Midwest. Similar cases have been filed in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio and Oklahoma, and two juries in Missouri have already handed out multimillion-dollar awards to homeowners who complained of intolerable odors from so-called factory farms.

At the same time, several states have passed or are considering laws that would make it easier for big farms to get permits. Lawmakers say the move creates uniformity, allowing farms to expand under predictable circumstances, and strengthens one of the few industries that didn’t tank in the recession.

Critics argue the laws deprive residents of a voice.

“A township should have the right to establish guidelines to keep its people safe, but it doesn’t,” said Adams, 61. “Those of us who are being affected, it’s like there’s nothing we can do.”

The owner of the big farm, Mike Larson, supports the state law. Consistency across the state makes it easier for farmers to expand and, in turn, strengthens the dairy industry in the nation’s No. 2 milk-producing state, he said.

More.

From St. Petersburg Times:

It seemed as if everyone had a story about illness or death. They filled the room.

Men and women with breast cancer. Prostate cancer. Bladder cancer. Disorders of the nervous system. The parents of babies who died days after birth. Husbands and wives who recalled the agony of a loved one.

The one thing they shared other than illness brought them to Tampa Saturday:

They had all lived at Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base in North Carolina.

Up to 250 people, mostly Tampa Bay residents, gathered at the Tampa Marriott Westshore for an informational meeting about what scientists think is one of the worst incidents of drinking water contamination in the nation’s history.

The meeting was organized by a law firm seeking clients.

But it was two of the leading advocates for the alleged victims of that tainted water who presented the case that the corps ignored stark warnings about pollution and waited four years to close those wells.

The advocates said they suffered, too. Former Marine drill instructor Jerry Ensminger’s daughter was conceived at Lejeune and died of leukemia at age 9. Mike Partain, an officer’s son, was born at the base in 1968 and is one of 67 men who lived at Lejeune and were later diagnosed with rare breast cancer.

Both men told the crowd to urge Florida’s congressional delegation to get involved to help Lejeune’s ill and dying.

“These are the people who lost a loved one to cancer or who had cancer or are dealing with cancer,” Partain said after the meeting. “These are the people who loved and trusted the corps and now feel a sense of betrayal.”

More . . .

From cpiweb:

Joe Kiger, a Parkersburg, W.Va., school teacher suffering from liver disease, describes the class-action lawsuit he filed in 2001 alleging he and thousands of citizens were being poisoned by DuPont’s C8 in their drinking water. His suit ended in a multimillion-dollar cleanup effort and a medical study funded by the company for area residents devastated by cancer and other ailments.

Associated Press: For hundreds, lawsuit over coal slurry unresolved.

Eighteen months ago, Christina Doyle packed up her two kids for an eight-hour journey to a West Virginia courthouse, hoping for some resolution to a lawsuit over water pollution she believes caused her daughter’s learning disabilities and slow growth.

This weekend, the 32-year-old who now lives in South Carolina is doing it again. And so will hundreds of others who believe Virginia-based Massey Energy Co. and subsidiary Rawl Sales & Processing have poisoned their water wells with 1.4 billion gallons of toxic coal slurry.

The company has denied wrongdoing, though residents say the proof flows from their faucets as red, orange or black water. They say the chemicals in slurry have left them and their children with developmental disabilities, cancers and other maladies.

* * *

The current and former residents of Rawl, Lick Creek, Sprigg and Merrimac are suing Massey for injecting slurry into 1,000 acres of former underground mines between 1978 and 1987. Slurry is created when coal is washed to help it burn more efficiently.

* * *  The company has defended the practice in court documents, arguing mineral rights agreements dating to 1889 give it “the full right to take and use all water found on the premises.”

For decades, coal companies in Appalachia have injected slurry into worked-out mines as a cheap alternative to dams and other systems that can safely store or treat the slurry. The industry says the practice is safe, but critics contend slurry seeps through natural and manmade cracks, eventually contaminating groundwater.

The state Department of Environmental Protection has imposed a temporary ban on new injection sites. Earlier this year, a team of West Virginia University researchers advised lawmakers to start monitoring coal slurry, even though they could not conclusively demonstrate a hazard to public health.

They also claim Massey drilled 40 more holes than it was permitted, pumping water out to relieve pressure and to make room for more waste. That waste came within feet of their homes, and the lawsuit says tests show the slurry “ripples and bubbles through the system in varying degrees, from highly toxic to simply toxic.”

* * *

All Christina Doyle wants is what’s best for her daughter, whose monthly drugs and daily hormone injections would cost more than $3,000 without insurance. Savannah was born without a pituitary gland, which is in the brain and regulates the body’s growth hormones.

The injections cause “horrible mood swings” that make a teenage girl’s life even more difficult. Savannah struggles with homework and cannot have children, said Doyle, who was raised in Lick Creek and lived there while pregnant with her daughter.

Despite Savannah’s problems, she made local news last year when she plunged into a pond to save a drowning 3-year-old neighbor.

Still, Doyle says she’s long been told by specialists that genetics can’t account for her daughter’s poor health.

“I did not do drugs. I did everything right. I took prenatal vitamins,” Doyle says. “I can’t think of anything else it could have been but the water.”

More . . .

Image source.

%d bloggers like this: