On April 29, 2018, Russell Lane Mattison Jr. tried a liquid nitrogen-infused cereal called Dragon Breath at a kiosk inside a mall. After several bites, he experienced sudden and intense pain and his mouth filled with blood. Over the next several weeks, Mr. Mattison had difficulty eating and drinking due to sores on the inside of his cheek. Mr. Mattison filed suit.
Dwayne Johnson, 46, sued Monsanto at the Superior Court of California, alleging that the popular weed killer Roundup gave him terminal cancer. Johnson applied Monsanto's Roundup weed killer 20 to 30 times per year while working as a groundskeeper for a school district near San Francisco. He testified at trial that while using the product he had two prior incidents in which he was soaked with the product. In 2014, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The suit alleged that harmful contact with Monsanto's product caused the underlying cancer. After three days of deliberations, the San Francisco jury awarded Johnson about $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages.
The Environmental Protection Agency scrutinizes chemicals before approving their use for the public, but when the manufacturer deliberately provides falsified data or hides the known hazards as a California jury recently decided, the results for the public are tragic, and the judgment against the manufacturer is costly. DeWayne Johnson is the first of hundreds of litigants nationwide to be heard in court for their claims against Monsanto, the manufacturer of RoundUp, and is currently dying from his Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL). Years of exposure to RoundUp were found to be a significant contributing factor. The cost to uninformed consumers significantly exposed to RoundUp has been the development of cancers including NHL and Multiple Myeloma (a bone cancer). This verdict has paved the way for what promises to be years of contentious litigation for Monsanto and potentially extreme costs for their product.
On July 12, 2018, a jury in St. Louis awarded nearly $4.7 billion in total damages to 22 women and their families after they claimed that asbestos found in Johnson & Johnson talcum powder contributed to their ovarian cancer. The jury awarded $4.14 billion in punitive damages and $550 million in compensatory damages to the Plaintiffs for failing to warn about the cancer risks. This is an extremely high award for punitive damages and one of the highest in such cases so far. Johnson & Johnson intends to appeal the decision.
The parents of a California toddler crushed to death last year by an Ikea dresser have filed suit against the retailer, alleging the company knew for years that its dressers were unstable but neglected to redesign them.
Recently, the FDA posted a voluntary recall from Raritan Pharmaceuticals of homeopathic children's remedies containing belladonna extract. Belladonna, also known as "deadly nightshade," is a plant traditionally used in herbal remedies that can be poisonous, and even fatal, if consumed in a sufficiently large dose. The recall affects the following Raritan products: Kids Relief Homeopathic Ear Relief Oral Liquid, CVS Homeopathic Kids' Ear Relief Liquid, and CVS Homeopathic Infants' Teething Tablet.
In December 2015, James Dardini's e-cigarette exploded a few hours after he arrived at work. Mr. Dardini, who had smoked his e-cig during his 60 mile commute, suffered burn injuries to his leg. In July 2015, James Lauria also suffered serious injuries to his mouth, face, and hand when his e-cig exploded while taking a break from his job as a concierge at the Beach House in Destin, Florida. Both men have filed suit.
Recently, Samsung has been facing difficulties with its newly released Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones. The phone's battery is prone to overheating, which can result in the phone catching fire or even exploding. To help cure the problem, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones on September 17, 2016 after the company issued a voluntary recall on September 2, 2016.
Since 1979, the toxic sleeper chemical polychlorinated biphenyls has been banned. Commonly known as PCB, the chemical has been proven to cause many ailments such as cancer. One of the more popular uses for the chemical is in window caulks used in schools, and any school built before 1979 could possibly home the PCB poison. Parents worried about their children's welfare took the guilty school districts to court over the matter.
While e-cigarettes have been advertised as a safe alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, recent events have shown these devices can actually be extremely dangerous. The Internet reveals several pages of headlines about e-cigarette explosions resulting in catastrophic injuries. In 2016 alone, there have been several media reported injuries attributed to e-cigarette explosions, including a truck driver suffering facial injuries when his e-cigarette exploded while driving, a woman who suffered third degree burns to her leg when her e-cigarette exploded in her pocket, and a professional soccer player who received extensive facial injuries when his e-cigarette blew up in his mouth.