Category: Defective Products

More Than 100,000 Johnson & Johnson Lawsuits Over Defective Products Stink of Corporate Corruption

By Emily Cox
Johnson & Johnson Lawsuits
Photo by Open Grid Scheduler/Grid Engine

The staggering number of Johnson & Johnson lawsuits, alleging harm from product defects, suggests that the baby powder company does care but not about people. These lawsuits indicate the company was only looking after its financial interests instead of the consumers they purport to help.

In its most recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Filings, the company indicated there are almost 103,000 Johnson & Johnson lawsuits pending against five of its products. This includes 54,800 pelvic mesh lawsuits; 18,500 Risperdal claims; 16,900 Xarelto lawsuits; 9,400 Pinnacle hip replacement claims; and 3,100 talcum powder cases.

In 2016, the company lost six of the seven largest jury verdicts in the U.S. over product defects. Comparatively, companies rarely have more than two to three product defect verdicts above $20 million in any given year. Johnson & Johnson lost six of more than $50 million. The company lost all three talcum powder cases that went to trial in 2016. These included verdicts for $72 million, $70 million, and $55 million. It lost two hip implant cases, as well. One was for $1 billion, and the other was for $500 million. It also lost the largest ever Risperdal verdict for $70 million. The previous record  was $2.5 million.

While these lawsuits are for different products, they all allege that the company knew that these products were dangerous but chose to conceal the risks to continue to profit from them.

Johnson & Johnson is facing at least 17 trials in state and federal courts this year against these products.

Johnson & Johnson Lawsuits – Overview

Pinnacle hip implant cases allege that the company’s Pinnacle products fail, resulting in heavy metal poisoning, pain and additional replacement surgeries. Pelvic mesh plaintiffs claim the mesh erodes, necessitating additional surgery. Women with ovarian cancer are filing claims against the company’s flagship baby powder and Shower-to-Shower products. They allege the talc in these products caused their illnesses. Boys who took Risperdal claim the anti-psychotic drug caused them to grow female breasts. Finally, lawsuits over Xarelto allege the blood thinner can cause uncontrollable bleeding, resulting in hospitalizations and even death. Lawsuits over Xarelto have more than tripled in the past year from 5,000 to 16,900.

In all these Johnson & Johnson lawsuits, plaintiffs maintain that company knew the risks of its products but refused to disclose them, putting their own financial interests before human lives.

Johnson & Johnson denies any product liability and is refusing to settle. This isn’t necessarily because the company truly believes itself right. The longer it can draw out the process, the more likely of discouraging plaintiffs and whittling down claims.

Johnson & Johnson Lawsuits – DePuy Pinnacle Hip

The Pinnacle hip is a metal-on-metal hip replacement system. These lawsuits claim the friction from the metal components rubbing together results in the near-immediate systemic release of high level of toxic metal ions into patients’ bodies. As of 2011, there were approximately 1,086 adverse events reports with the FDA regarding failures or complications from DePuy Pinnacle devices. Despite patients reporting severe pain, complicated revision surgeries, and life-long health problems, Johnson & Johnson continues to sell Depuy Pinnacle hip replacement components.

Johnson & Johnson Lawsuits – Pelvic Mesh

Pelvic mesh, or transvaginal mesh, and bladder sling products are used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and female urinary incontinence by supporting internal organs. Ethicon is one of about a half-dozen different manufacturers of these products, facing product liability, with more than 100,000 lawsuits, alleging serious harm from the devices.

The U.S. Federal Drug Administration has received almost 130,000 adverse event reports regarding pelvic mesh products for complications including nerve damage, organ perforation, vaginal scarring, infection, severe pain, and fistulas, as well as mesh erosion and migration. Mesh erosion is one of the most serious complications related to pelvic mesh. It occurs when the mesh device moves through the vaginal wall and into other organs.

Johnson & Johnson Lawsuits – Talcum Powder

Since 1971, more than 20 studies have generated evidence that there is a significant connection between talc and ovarian cancer.  In 1993, the U.S. National Toxicology Program published a study that showed talc was a carcinogen. Consequently, numerous organizations classified talc as a carcinogen in 2006. Due to this, Johnson & Johnson’s talc supplier began including warnings with its talc shipments that same year. However, Johnson & Johnson still does not pass these warnings on to its consumers. In fact, the company specifically targets women to use it on their entire bodies, including their genital region.

Johnson & Johnson Lawsuits – Risperdal

Currently, there are several thousand pending Risperdal lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson involving the occurrence of abnormal breast growth in young men and boys as the result of taking the atypical antipsychotic. Plaintiffs claim that Johnson & Johnson and its Ortho-McNewil Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary knew or should have known about the abnormal breast growth, also known as gynecomastia, risk from Risperdal and willfully decided to hide this side effect from the general public and the medical community, failing to protect the consuming public.

Johnson & Johnson Lawsuits – Xarelto

The current lawsuits against the popular blood thinners claim that the manufacturers failed to warn that clinical trials had shown more gastrointestinal bleeds and more blood transfusions with Xarelto than warfarin. Warfarin was the most popular blood thinner on the market before the introduction of Xarelto.

While manufacturers indicated that there was a bleeding risk, plaintiffs claim they were not warned that there was no antidote to Xarelto to reverse uncontrolled bleeding caused by Xarelto. Whereas, uncontrolled bleeding with warfarin can be reversed with vitamin K. Consequently, even mild bleeding incidents can become exceptionally dangerous.

 

 

 

Second-Hand E-Cigarette Vapor Exposure in a Quarter of U.S. Teens

By Emily Cox
E-Cigarette Vapor
Photo by Peter Remmers

A new study indicates potentially harmful second-hand e-cigarette vapors affect roughly one in four youths in the country.

Researchers published their findings this month in the Jama Pediatrics medical journal.  According to new Center for Disease Control (CDC) data, the number of teens using e-cigarettes has increased significantly since the tobacco products were introduced to the market in 2007. Consequently, an alarming amount of teens are exposed to these devices’ second-hand vapors.

The study indicates e-cigarettes release aerosol. Some of this is also exhaled into the air where nonusers can inhale or ingest it. It can also make skin contact. Researchers warn that the vapor may contain harmful substances like heavy metals, nicotine, and benzene vapors. These are all carcinogens.

The 2015 National Youth Tobacco Survey showed an almost 25 percent rate of exposure for middle and high school students to e-cigarette vapors in an indoor or outdoor location at least once in a 30-day time period. This equates roughly 6.5 million students.

E-cigarette vapor exposure rates were highest among whites and females. Researchers found these rates to be 22 percent for males and 27 percent for females. They also found rates of exposure to be 15 percent for blacks, 25 percent for Hispanics, 27 percent for whites, and 22 percent among other races.

Thanks to manufacturers aggressively marketing appealing sweet flavors to target teens and young adults, the country’s youth most commonly uses E-cigarettes among tobacco products.

E-Cigarette Risks

A 2014 Japanese study indicated that E-cigarettes contain up to 10 times the level of cancer-causing agents as regular tobacco. Another recent study highlighted the e-cigarette vapor risk to teen lungs. Yet another study in 2016 linked e-cigarettes to an increased risk of oral cancer. Furthermore, the Surgeon General issued a warning in late 2016 that e-cigarettes pose a serious health risk to the country’s youth.

Researchers are urging policy-makers to modify tobacco-free policies to include e-cigarettes. They indicate that this is crucial to protecting America’s youth from a preventable health risk.

Lymphoma Caused by Weed Killer Roundup, Groundskeeper Alleges

By Emily Cox
RoundUp May Cause Lymphoma
Photo by Donna Cleveland

A former groundskeeper is suing Roundup manufacturer Monsanto, claiming the weed killer gave him non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Richard Aird filed the complaint March 22 in Delaware Superior Court. He is claiming that Monsanto withheld information from the public about glyphosate’s health risks. Glyphosate is the primary ingredient in the popular weed killer. Aird alleges he could have taken safety precautions to prevent the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma if the company had been more forthright about its chemical.

Aird worked for approximately 10 years as a groundskeeper at Canyon Oaks Ranch in San Juan Capistrano, California. During that time, he used Roundup on a regular basis.

In March 2007, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. This caused him to undergo chemotherapy and requires ongoing oncology treatment.

Monsanto has represented Roundup as “safer than table salt” and “practically non-toxic” to mammals, birds, and fish. However, many organizations, including the World Health Organization, have found that the herbacide’s primary ingredient, glyphosate, may cause cancer. It also damages DNA in human cells. This lawsuit alleges that Monsanto was aware of Roundup’s carcinogenic properties as early as the 1980’s and withheld this information from agricultural workers. Furthermore, the lawsuit cites studies that show Roundup as considerably more dangerous than glyphosate alone. But the company continued to promote Roundup as safe anyway.

Roundup Lymphoma Lawsuits

Aird’s case joins hundreds of other similar lawsuits against Monsanto, alleging that the company failed to adequately warn the public about the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma risk associated with Roundup. Aird, and other groundskeepers, farmers, landscapers, agricultural workers and others allege that they may have avoided non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers if Monsanto had warned them of the risks.

Monsanto also faces allegations that it ghostwrote studies for the EPA that showed Roundup as safe. There is also evidence that they colluded with EPA officials to conceal Roundup’s risks in order to protect profits rather than people.

 

 

Judge Appoints Hernia Mesh Lawyers to Leadership Roles in Atrium C-Qur Lawsuits

By Emily Cox
Hernia Mesh Lawyers
Photo by Marco Aurelio Martins Costa

The U.S. District Judge presiding over the centralized Atrium C-Qur litigation has appointed some of the plaintiffs’ hernia mesh lawyers to various leadership roles for discovery and pretrial proceedings.

Judge Landya McCafferty issued the case management order March 13. The order appointed the Plaintiffs’ Lead Council, Liaison Counsel, and Executive Committee. According to the order, five hernia mesh lawyers will serve on the committee. Additionally, the judge designated one attorney as the Plaintiffs’ State Liaison Counsel. This attorney will coordinate status updates regarding cases filed at the state level. These lawyers will coordinate and manage discovery, as well as argue motions before the court.

Judge McCafferty also issued a Pretrial Order on March 13. The order approved a joint proposal from the plaintiffs and defendants on the collection, division, and preservation of pathological materials from Atrium C-Qur surgeries for trial evidence.

Atrium introduced its C-Qur hernia mesh patch in 2006. Atrium designed the mesh’s Omega-3 gel coating to reduce inflammation and scar tissue formation, while aiding incorporation of the mesh into the abdominal wall. However, plaintiffs claim that this coating actually promotes inflammation, causing bowel adhesions and other problems, while preventing proper abdominal wall incorporation.

Hernia Mesh Lawyers and MDL

Hernia mesh lawyers are continuing to file and review claims over problems with Atrium C-Qur. These claims allege that Atrium defectively designed its C-Qur hernia mesh and that the mesh is unreasonably dangerous. Consequently, plaintiffs suffered painful and debilitating complications such as allergic reactions, infections, and adhesions. Almost all of the plaintiffs required additional surgery to remove the mesh patch.

In December 2016, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) centralized all Atrium C-Qur lawsuits before Judge McCafferty in the District of New Hampshire. Federal Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) reduces duplicate discovery and conflicting pretrial rulings. As a result, all parties save both time and money. The JPML refers to this as “judiciary efficiency.”  Hernia mesh lawyers think the MDL has the potential to swell into thousands of cases.

 

Stryker Metal Hip Components Caused Pseudotumor and Metal Poisoning

By Emily Cox

Stryker Metal Hip Components

A new lawsuit claims that recalled Stryker metal hip components poisoned a Texas woman and caused her to develop a pseudotumor.

Betty Sadler filed the complaint against Howmedica Osteonics Corp, doing business as Stryker Orthopedics, earlier this month in the Southern District of Texas.

The lawsuit states that Sadler underwent Stryker metal hip replacement surgery in October 2008. Surgeons implanted her with a Stryker Accolade TMZF Plus femoral steam and LFit V40 femoral head to treat left hip degenerative arthrosis.

In late 2015, Sadler began experiencing “significant left hip pain and discomfort.” A subsequent MRI revealed a left hip pseudotumor. Due to this, Sadler underwent revision surgery in January 2016. During her revision surgery, Sadler’s surgeon also found evidence of significant metal poisoning and substantial wear on the Stryker metal hip components, as well as bone loss. Consequently, the surgeon replaced the LFit V40 metal femoral head with a ceramic one.

Due to reports of similar problems with Stryker metal hip components, the company recalled the LFit V40 in August 2016. The recall impacted certain large-diameter femoral heads sold before 2011. Stryker acknowledged that a larger-than-expected number of individuals were experiencing metal wear, trunnion failure, adverse tissue reactions, and other complications from the metal hip component.

Stryker Metal Hip Components Lawsuit

Sadler joins a growing number of individuals filing similar Stryker metal hip lawsuits. These lawsuits allege that Stryker failed to use reasonable and due care for the safety and well-being of patients. They further claim that the Stryker metal hip components were defectively designed. According to the lawsuits, company knew that the titanium Accolade hip stem performed poorly with the cobalt/chromium head. However, Stryker marketed the pairing of these components anyway to the detriment of recipients.

Due to the success of Stryker’s malicious marketing practices, the Accolade and LFit V40 were an exceptionally popular combination. Consequently, experts expect thousands of individuals to file similar lawsuits in the future due to significant injuries from this combination.

 

FDA Bends to Big Pharma and Postpones Off-Label Marketing Final Rule

By Emily Cox
Big Pharma Off-Label Marketing
Photo by Mike Licht

In response to a petition filed by pharmaceutical groups, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has delayed implementing a final rule that would give the agency greater leeway to regulate off-label marketing.

While drug makers requested an indefinite stay on the rule, the FDA delayed executing this final rule until March 2018. The rule would require drug makers to update product labeling if there is evidence that the company intended people to use its medicine for off-label uses or for an unapproved use. Doctors can prescribe drugs for any reason. However, court rulings have determined that pharmaceutical companies can only engage in off-label marketing if the information is truthful and not misleading.

The Medical Information Working Group (MIWG), the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), filed the Petition to Stay and for Reconsideration on February 8, 2017. These groups expressed outrage over the FDA’s unexpected publishing of the rule in January.

“FDA’s revisions were not communicated to the public prior to the Final Rule published on January 9, 2017, which deprived stakeholders of fair notice and an opportunity to be heard in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA),” the petition states.

Furthermore, the trade groups claim the rule gives the FDA too much leeway.

“The final rule would give the FDA an extraordinarily wide leeway to gauge how a company intended its medicine to be used, which can then be used to assess whether illegal promotion occurred,” the groups said.

The FDA asserts that these groups misunderstood the ruling. However, the agency still relented, extending the March 21, 2017 deadline by almost a year.

Taxotere Off-Label Marketing Lawsuit

The ruling delay comes as Sanofi S.A. faces a Qui Tam lawsuit for off-label marketing of Taxotere. The lawsuit claims the company used fraudulent and illegal off-label marketing to drive sales and expand its market share. The FDA approved the high-potency taxane to treat advanced breast cancer when other treatments have failed.

Sanofi S.A. allegedly trained and directed their employees to misrepresent the safety and effectiveness of off-label Taxotere. This expanded its market into unapproved settings like first line treatment and less advanced cancer. The lawsuit claims that the company also paid doctors illegal kickbacks to get them to prescribe Taxotere for off-label uses. These kickbacks included entertainment, sports, concert tickets, sham grans, speaking fees, travel preceptorship fees, and fee reimbursement assistance.

These illicit measures dramatically increased the breast cancer drug’s revenue from $424 million in 2000 to $1.4 billion in 2004. It also exposed thousands of women to Taxotere’s increased toxicity and its more severe side effects, including permanent hair loss.

Additional civil lawsuits continue to mount rapidly as more women discover Taxotere unnecessarily disfigured them.

 

 

 

Pesticide Manufacturer Accused of Ghostwriting Chemical Safety Reports

By Emily Cox
Pesticide and GMO Protest
Photo by William Murphy

Court documents in the lawsuit against Monsanto involving its Roundup pesticide include emails that indicate the company had ghostwritten research on the pesticide’s active ingredient that was later attributed to academics.

NPR reports that Monsanto asked scientists to co-sign safety studies on glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup pesticide. In internal emails. Monsanto executive William Heydens suggested that the company “ghost-write” a paper.

“We would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit & sign their names so to speak,” he wrote.

He indicated this is how the company had “handled” an earlier paper on glyphosate’s safety. While the paper from 2000 acknowledges Monsanto’s help in collecting data, it does not list any employees as authors.

The emails also suggested a collaboration between Monsanto and a senior regulator at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Jess Rowland.

If I can kill this, I should get a medal,” Rowland said to a Monsanto regulatory affairs manager in April 2015. The manager recounted the conversation in an internal email. The company was trying to get Rowland’s assistance to stop an investigation of glyphosate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) after the International Agency for Research on Cancer declared that glyphosate probably causes cancer.

Monsanto executives were concerned that Rowland could not stop a federal glyphosate review. However, it’s evident that they believed the EPA was on their side.

“I doubt EPA and Jess can kill this, but it’s good to know they are going to actually make the effort,” a Monsanto executive wrote.

Since Rowland retired from the EPA last year, he has become a central figure in more than 20 lawsuits. These lawsuits claim Monsanto failed to warn consumers of the risks associated with its glyphosate-based pesticide.

Roundup Pesticide Lawsuits

There are hundreds of individuals suing Monsanto, Roundup’s parent company. They cite a 2015 World Health Organization study that says glyphosate is probably carcinogenic and damages DNA in human cells. A California judge recently ruled that the state can legally require Monsanto to warn customers of Roundup’s cancer risks.

Essure Birth Control Coil Goes Missing in Woman’s Body

By Emily Cox
Essure Birth Control Coil
Controversial Essure Birth Control Coil

Atlanta, GA — A woman has filed a product liability lawsuit against Bayer after one of its controversial Essure birth control coils went missing inside her body.

Pamela Graves filed the complaint in the Northern District of Georgia earlier this month. She is claiming that Bayer sold a defective and unreasonably dangerous device and that the company failed to warn about the risks associated with the Essure birth control coils.

According to her lawsuit, Graves had the Essure birth control coils implanted in May 2009. Following implantation, she gained approximately 80 pounds and suffered constant intense pelvic pain. She also experienced heavy bleeding with large clots, painful intercourse, and headaches. Graves alleges she could feel the coils poke her when she would lay down on her stomach.

In April 2016, Graves underwent a hysterectomy to remove the Essure birth control device. However, doctors were only able to remove one of the coils. They could not locate the other coil, as it had migrated outside of the fallopian tube into Graves’ body. It remains inside of Graves to this day.

Essure Birth Control Complications

Essure birth control coils are implanted in the fallopian tubes. They cause scar tissue to form and prevent pregnancy. Bayer continues to market this device as a safe and effective form of birth control. However, tens of thousands of women have reported serious Essure complications to Bayer and the FDA. These complications include severe pain, unintended pregnancy, and allergic reactions, as well as coil migration and perforation. Furthermore, most doctors cannot remove only the coils, and insurance does not cover the procedure. Consequently, the only treatment option for most women is hysterectomy.

After receiving 10,000 Essure adverse event reports between November 2002 and December 2015, the FDA mandated Essure warning label changes in November 2016.  Some of the most severe complications included four adult deaths, 15 lost pregnancies, and two infant deaths, as well as, 631 reports of unwanted pregnancies. In 96 of these cases, the

pregnancies were ectopic, which can be life-threatening.

These label changes included a “black box” warning, as well as a patient checklist that must be given to women considering Essure birth control to ensure future patients are aware of the severity of the risks associated with the device.

Graves joins several thousand other women who have filed similar lawsuits against Bayer, alleging that their birth control device caused serious harm and that Bayer misrepresented Essure’s safety and efficacy.

 

Uterine Fibroid Embolization Safer and Cheaper than Morcellation But Underused

By Emily Cox
Uterine Fibroid
Photo by Tom Blunt

Washington, D.C. – As safety concerns continue to mount over the risks associated with morcellation, new research indicates that less invasive embolization is vastly underutilized for uterine fibroid removal even though it’s safer and less expensive.

The study’s lead author presented the research at the Society of Interventional Radiology’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. Researchers found that the medical community vastly underuses a technique called uterine fibroid embolization, favoring more invasive and expensive laparoscopic hysterectomies that may involve the use of a power morcellator.

Power Morcellators Vs. Uterine Fibroid Embolization

Power morcellators are medical devices for minimally invasive hysterectomies. Surgeons use them to cut up and remove the uterus and uterine fibroids through a small abdominal incision. While they were exceedingly popular during the past decade, most doctors will not use the devices anymore as morcellators can spread undiagnosed uterine cancer cells. Consequently, this rapidly upstages aggressive cancers and shortens life-expectancy.

In comparison, embolization doesn’t require a surgical incision. Instead radiologist inserts a catheter into the artery at the groin or wrist. The doctor then guides the catheter to the fibroid’s blood supply where tiny particles are released to block the small blood vessels. This deprives the fibroid of nutrients, resulting in fibroid softening and shrinking, as well as less bleeding. Researchers estimate that nine out of 10 patients who undergo uterine fibroid embolization experience significant improvement or complete resolution of their symptoms.

Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are growths made of smooth muscle cells and other tissue that develop within the wall of the uterus.

According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the majority of women develop uterine fibroids. One study found that between 80% and 90% of African American women and 70% of white women develop fibroids by age 50. Research shows that 90% of these women will seek medical or surgical treatment within one year of diagnosis. While fibroids usually grow in women of childbearing age, women undergo hysterectomies most of the time. This new research indicates that women are not fully aware of their treatment options. It further suggests that these women would chose preserve their uterus and ability to bear children if given this choice.

Women Not Aware of Uterine Fibroid Embolization Benefits

Embolization allows women to keep their uterus and removes the risk of cancer upstaging. However, the study found there were more than 65 times as many hysterectomies performed for uterine fibroids than embolization. In 2013, there were approximately 78,200 hysterectomies for fibroids in 2013. While this is down from 168,000 in 2007, there were less than 2,500 embolization procedures during this time.

“These findings suggest there is a lack of awareness about this safe, effective and less invasive therapy for uterine fibroids,” said Prasoon Mohan, the study’s lead author. “Patients need to know about the major differences between surgical treatments and [uterine fibroid embolization], especially that this is a non-surgical treatment that preserves the uterus and has a much faster recovery time compared to hysterectomy.”

The data also showed the uterine fibroid embolization resulted in shorter hospital stays. Furthermore, it was less expensive than hysterectomy by about $12,000. Researchers are urging the medical community to educate patients about their choices and determine ways to increase access to this effective, less invasive treatment.

Power Morcellator Lawsuits

Lawmakers, consumer advocates, and families of cancer victims have pressured the FDA to recall power morcellators. Unfortunately, the FDA has decided not to recall power morcellators at this time. However, they did require manufacturers to add a prominent “black box warning” to device labels in April 2014. These labels clearly state that the devices may spread undetected cancer and decrease long-term survival. Since the FDA issued these warnings, Johnson & Johnson has faced dozens of morcellator cancer lawsuits. These women allege these devices are defective and dangerous and that the company failed to warn the medical community.

Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit was previously the main manufacturer of morcellators. It has since stopped selling the medical device. But other companies continue to manufacturer and sell these controversial tools.

Mesothelioma Deaths Exceeded 45,000 During 15 Year Period

By Emily Cox
Mesothelioma Deaths
Photo by Martin Hesketh

A new government report shows more than 45,000 malignant mesothelioma deaths from 1999 to 2015 with annual lives lost continuing to increase, especially among older Americans who came into contact with asbestos decades earlier.

The March 3 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) indicates that the number of mesothelioma deaths continue to increase. However, prior projections suggested that the impact of asbestos should have peaked by now. Instead it increased 4.8 percent from 1999 to 2015.

“After 2005, mortality was projected to decrease,” the report stated. “Despite regulatory actions and the decline in use of asbestos, the annual number of malignant mesothelioma deaths remains substantial.”

These findings suggest that asbestos exposure is continuing at unacceptable rates. According to their research, 20 percent of construction industry air samples from 2003 exceeded the asbestos exposure limits. The CDC also found that many asbestos products remain in use with new asbestos products manufacturing continuing in the U.S.

The only known cause of the mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. The manufacturing and building industry used asbestos extensively until regulatory agencies banned most uses more than three decades ago. However, the time from exposure to developing malignant mesothelioma can be as long as 71 years.

Since it is usually not diagnosed until it’s in a very advanced stage, mesothelioma is almost always fatal. Consequently, there is a very short life-expectancy after diagnosis as well. Researchers found that patients have a median survival of approximately one year from the time of diagnosis.

Mesothelioma Deaths Litigation

Mesothelioma Deaths Caused by Asbestos
Photo by Aaron Suggs

More than 600,000 people have filed lawsuits against more than 6,000 defendants due to injuries caused by breathing asbestos fibers. This makes it the largest mass-tort in U.S. history. Besides people directly exposed to the toxic substance, a growing number of lawsuits involve second-hand exposure by individuals who inhaled asbestos from the hair or clothes of their parents during childhood.

 

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