As many of our readers know, there have been two recent, large toxic tort verdicts: (1) $4.6 billion talc verdict against J&J (22 ovarian cancer cases); and (2) $300 million glyphosate verdict against Monsanto.
As many of our readers know, there have been two recent, large toxic tort verdicts: (1) $4.6 billion talc verdict against J&J (22 ovarian cancer cases); and (2) $300 million glyphosate verdict against Monsanto. In both cases, the role of genomics has been oversimplified by the plaintiffs. Specifically, some plaintiff counsel have argued that individual and groups of plaintiffs are prone to the effects of specific exposures (e.g., asbestos in talc or glyphosate).
In our view, courts and parties need to focus on bringing more objective individualized scientific data to bear on these legal claims involving allegations of genetic susceptibility. Certainly, tools exist that the defense could use to bring some objective data and precision to claims in which the role of genomics is being over-generalized.
We provide below some overall themes from the two recent trials related to the use of genetic science in the courtroom.
These two recent verdicts will undoubtedly encourage additional lawsuits for plaintiff counsel seeking additional plaintiffs with ovarian and non-hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) alleging that the cause of their injuries was talcum powder or glyphosate. As these toxic tort cases continue to emerge, the defense must build in a knowledge of genetics to their strategy – at the very least so that they can effectively cross-examine plaintiff experts.
Ultimately, we believe a genetics-based approach will provide the defense with a winning strategy from an affirmative perspective because it makes the case about the individual, not about heterogeneous groups of plaintiffs.
Download a complimentary copy of our white paper: The Litigator’s Guide to Using Genomics in a Toxic Tort Case
On Wednesday July 8, 2020, Dr. David Schwartz of Innovative Science Solutions presented at the IADC 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting on a panel titled The Use of Genetic Testing in the Courtroom. A complimentary copy of the panel presentation is now available for download. Read more
Dr. David Schwartz of Innovative Science Solutions will be presenting at the IADC 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting on a panel titled The Use of Genetic Testing in the Courtroom. Read more
Plaintiff experts having been asserting for decades that all mesotheliomas must be linked to some asbestos exposure. Indeed, this has led to the erroneous (but widespread) view that mesothelioma is a signature disease, only caused by asbestos exposure. Read more
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