Over the last several years, Johnson & Johnson has faced increasing scrutiny regarding its talcum powder. Thousands of lawsuits citing several studies have alleged that Johnson & Johnson knew but failed to warn consumers that extended use of its talc-based products had the potential to cause ovarian cancer. Most of the lawsuits have been filed by women who developed ovarian cancer after consistent and extended use of either Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder or Shower to Shower Body. While other talc-based product brands have also become subject to lawsuits, Johnson & Johnson is by far the most popular brand of products like baby shower and has therefore received the most scrutiny and lawsuits. Studies as far back as the 1970s have expressed concern over the correlation between talc powder and cancer. Although no studies have scientifically proven that talc powder causes cancer, there is an almost undeniably an association between the two. The lawsuits filed have focused on this link, claiming that Johnson & Johnson had a duty to at least warn consumers of the potential association and is therefore liable. At least some courts agree with plaintiffs, and in 2018 a court in Missouri awarded a total of over $4 billion in punitive damages to 22 plaintiffs. The court awarded an additional $550 million in compensatory damages to cover medical and other costs. Johnson & Johnson expressed disappointment in the verdict and continues to deny any liability. They have appealed the case and continue to dispute over 10,000 additional lawsuits, Johnson & Johnson has not settled any cases. Since the 2018 Missouri case, a jury in Kentucky has agreed with Johnson & Johnson, refusing to award damages to plaintiffs in that case. There are still over 10,000 cases open against Johnson & Johnson for the potential dangers of its talc-based products. If you or a loved one has used one of the relevant products consistently over the course of several years or more and developed cancer after that use, you may be entitled to compensation for the medical and emotional damages incurred. It is important to talk to an experienced lawyer to learn more about your options and the money you are entitled to.
Colorado is an at-fault state. But what does that mean? And how does that affect you? The difference between an at fault state and no fault state In an at fault, or tort based, system, a driver injured in a car accident can file a claim with the at fault driver’s insurance company. In these states, it is the responsibility of whoever caused the accident, or their automobile insurance, to pay for damages occurring in the accident. How to determine who caused the accident varies from state to state. However, in no fault systems, a driver does not need to prove another driver’s fault in order to be repaid for medical costs resulting from the accident. In no fault systems, drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. Upon the occurrence of an accident, no matter who is at fault, each driver’s PIP insurance kicks in and covers the cost of medical expenses. Keep in mind that PIP insurance does not cover the damage to property – like the car or motorcycle involved in the accident – so drivers often pay for additional insurance coverage in order to be covered for costs beyond medical bills. Because liability for the damage to property is fault based, liability insurance coverage is recommended in addition to the required PIP. At fault drivers without liability insurance would be responsible for paying for property damages out of their own pocket instead of having the ability to put in a claim to their insurance. Colorado Colorado is an at fault state that employs a comparative negligence system. In Colorado and other at fault states, the driver responsible for the accident is liable for costs occurring from the accident. While this system sounds more fair, it is often difficult to discern who caused an accident, especially when the driver at fault still denies causing the accident. Counter claims and other disputes can clog the legal system and are often costly and time consuming. There are two types of comparative negligence systems: (1) pure comparative negligence and (2) modified comparative negligence. In a pure comparative negligence system, each person’s recovery amount is reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if someone is determined to be 60% responsible for an accident where they suffered $50,000 in damages, the driver would only be entitled to receive a judgment of 40% of the $50,000 ($20,000). Colorado employs the modified comparative negligence system. The amount of compensation due for the accident is still proportionate to how responsible the driver is for the accident. But, if the driver is 50% or more responsible for the accident, they lose the ability to receive any compensation for damages incurred in the accident. For example, if an accident occurs that causes $50,000 in damages, but you are deemed 10% responsible for an accident, you would only be entitled to $45,000 in compensation. But, if you are deemed 51% responsible for the accident, you would not be entitled to any compensation from the other driver or the driver’s insurance. Because the other party will generally not hesitate to point fingers, it may be helpful to speak to an experienced lawyer after an accident in order to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
What is Truvada? Truvada is used to help treat or prevent human immunodeficiency virus, more commonly known as HIV and hepatitis B virus infection. Truvada is manufactured by Gilead and works by blocking certain pathways that the viruses use to establish infection, preventing the virus from spreading. While Truvada is not a true cure for HIV, it helps prevent the virus from developing into AIDS and can help keep someone from becoming infected when they are intimate with someone who is HIV positive. Side effects of Truvada include upset stomach headache, vomiting, loss of appetite. More recent studies, however, have revealed that the use of Truvada is correlated with more serious side effects such as kidney failure, osteoporosis, and decreased bone density that has, in some cases, resulted in broken bones. Similar to birth control, Truvada is intended for prolonged, daily use. This prolonged use has led users to extensive exposure to the negative side effects of the drug, resulting in a more significant and substantial damage. The results of these more recent studies have cast suspicion on whether Gilead had knowledge of the true dangers of Truvada, resulting in a series of lawsuits. The Truvada Lawsuits The lawsuits have alleged that Gilead had knowledge of the injuries Truvada causes and failed to notify doctors and Truvada patients of the dangers. Furthermore, the lawsuits allege that Gilead had developed new, safer medications, but despite knowing about the injuries, chose to delay the release of the new medications in order to maximize profits from Truvada’s patent. The delay in releasing the new medication has allegedly caused tens of thousands of severe injuries. Currently, an MDL has been formed in California and proceeding with the litigation of these claims. If you or a loved one has suffered from a serious bone or kidney injury after taking Truvada, it is important to contact a product liability or personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation to help you cover the expenses of your injury.
If you have followed the news at all in the last year, it’s likely you’ve seen the weed killer Roundup in the headlines. Since March 2018, juries have awarded billions of dollars to plaintiffs claiming that extensive use of Roundup caused their cancer. One specific case, brought by a couple in California, resulted in a combined punitive damages award of $2 billion in addition to the $55 million combined compensatory reward. This award may sound somewhat surprising considering that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reported it found that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is not carcinogenic when used in accordance with the label. However, there are conflicting studies on the subject. Most notably, in 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer found glyphosate to be “probably carcinogenic.” Despite the apparent conflictions, three juries have found that the plaintiffs provided sufficient evidence to show that Roundup manufacturer Monsanto is liable for their cancer; over 13,000 similar lawsuits have been filed; and the country of Austria has recently passed a bill banning the use of glyphosate. Although Monsanto stands behind its statements that glyphosates are not dangerous, public court documents suggest that Monsanto made attempts to stop investigation into the ingredient and to publish scientific studies, through third parties, that confirmed glyphosate’s safety. Cancer patients with an extensive history of Roundup usage or exposure may be entitled to compensation to cover the resulting medical expenses. If you are currently, or have been, a cancer patient and believe your cancer was caused by Roundup, you should contact an attorney for professional legal advice.
Under California’s Unfair Competition and False Advertising laws, Johnson & Johnson could face a penalty of a maximum of $5,000 for every misrepresentation the court finds Johnson & Johnson has made.
A hailstorm damaged your home’s roof? You contact your insurance. Had a fender bender on the way to work? You contact your insurance. Your basement flooded and the floor is ruined? You contact your insurance. Injured during the family football game? You go to the doctor and they contact your insurance. When something unexpected – and expensive – happens, the majority people rely on their insurance to cover it. That’s why we have it, right? When a person purchases an insurance policy, a contract is made, which, by its unique nature, creates a duty that the insurance act in good faith and fair dealing with the insured when acting within the contract. This means that when a covered incident occurs, the insurance must consider the insured’s interests at and deal fairly with the insured when a claim is made. In Colorado, when insurance companies act in bad faith, the insured has a tort claim against the company. Below are three signs that an insurance company may be acting in bad faith: Unreasonable delay in communication regarding claim Not all delays in communication are an unreasonable delay. Insurance companies are busy, especially when hazardous events caused damage to a large area. It’s not uncommon for it to take a few days or even weeks to complete an investigation into a claim, especially if a large hailstorm damaged the roofs of every house in a 5-mile radius. Unreasonable delays are determined based on a variety of facts, but if you feel like your insurance company repeatedly puts off getting back to you, it may be beneficial to get in contact with an attorney or even file a complaint with the Colorado Division of Insurance Unreasonable delay in payment As with unreasonable delays in communication, not all delays in payment are unreasonable. Depending on circumstances, it may take more time to process payments. Usually, upon acceptance of a claim, your insurance representative will give you a time from to expect payment. Additionally, time frames are sometimes specified in the insurance policy. If you haven’t received payment within the designated time frame, it’s a sign of unreasonable payment. If your insurance company is unable to give you a valid reason for the delay, it may be a good time to get advice from an attorney. Failure to provide reasons for why your claim was denied It is well within an insurance companies’ rights to deny claims that don’t fall within your specific policy. However, you, as the insured, are entitled to know why your claim was denied. If an insurance company denies your claim and fails to respond to your request to know the reason for the denial, it’s a sign your insurance company is not dealing with you fairly. Overall, insurance companies do their jobs and treat customers fairly, but if you notice any of these signs, it’s possible that you may have you’ve been dealt with unfairly and have a claim for recourse.
Almost everyone knows the feeling of getting in a car accident. The spike in adrenaline, the knot in your stomach, and the way your breath seems to get caught in your chest as you try to make sure everyone involved is okay. The truth is, no matter who was at fault or how minor the accident, car accidents can be scary, and they often times leave people shaken up. At the end of the day, however, drivers feel a sense of security knowing that when accidents come up, insurance will cover the costs of damages and any medical attention that may be needed as a result of an accident. That safety net is extremely important when you consider that the Colorado Department of Transportation recently reported distracted drivers alone cause 43 accidents per day. In an accident, the party at fault, or their insurance, should pay for the damages. But what happens when there’s an accident and the person at fault doesn’t have insurance? That’s where Uninsured (or even underinsured) Motorist coverage (UM) comes in. UM will protect you in the unfortunate cases where the at fault motorist either does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance coverage to pay for the damages. And yes, it is illegal to drive in Colorado without car insurance. However, despite the strict fines and punishments, 13% of drivers in the United States still choose to drive without insurance. That’s over 1 in 8 drivers, or about 5 drivers out of 43. UM coverage will protect you in those 5 out of 43 cases. It can also help protect you when an at fault motorist is underinsured. For example, the minimum coverage in Colorado is currently $25,000 per person for bodily injury. If an accident causes $40,000 in medical damages and the at fault motorist only has the minimum required coverage, UM coverage can help bridge the gap between what the liable insurance company will pay and doctor bills. In some cases, UM coverage may even cover lost wages due to an accident. The coverage may even kick in in the occurrence of a hit and run accident if the motorist cannot be found. Unfortunately, car accidents are an everyday risk, but Uninsured Motorist coverage can give you confidence that your financial interests are protected.