News Recap for 10-16-20
American Council on Science and Health: COVID-19, Courts, And Controversies — Since the coronavirus pandemic began, four main breeds of lawsuits have emerged:Direct suits by cruise line passengers against the cruise-companies alleging the company endangered passengers’ lives through negligence and bad decision-making; shareholder derivative suits against cruise lines for failure to disclose potential adverse events of a financial nature (e.g., lawsuits); worker’s compensation suits for employees injured on the job when exposed to ill co-workers; and claims by those workers’ sickened spouses for “bystander exposure.” Parsing these issues is how lawyers get rich.
Boston Globe: Just when we need it most, science is in danger— Science has long been the country’s greatest engine for health, economic prosperity, and national security. Today, the need for science is greater than ever as we face an avalanche of challenges unlike at any time in history. Yet just when we need science most, the compact between science and society has become dangerously frayed. The most obvious sign is the spectacle of political officials pressuring health agencies to replace science-based guidance with their own pronouncements. But the problem runs deeper.
Fox Business: North Carolina AG sues Dupont, Chemours for dumping into state’s water — North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein filed a lawsuit against DuPont and Chemours, for their role in the discharge and release of PFAS chemicals, including GenX into the drinking water and air. Stein alleges that the chemical company “knowingly concealed the true nature of the PFAS being manufactured and discharged.” In a statement, Chemours responded: “Since , Chemours has taken definitive action to address active emissions and historic deposition at our Fayetteville site, and continues to do so. Chemours has cooperated with the State of North Carolina to address PFAS concerns, and has agreed to a court approved Consent Order.”
National Law Review: PFAS In Food Limit Set By Europe – Will The U.S. Follow? — While the EU is generally seen as ahead of the United States regulatory agencies in many areas, including PFAS, the European Food Safety Authority’s new PFAS limits may place increasing pressure on other global regulatory bodies, including the World Health Organization, to make similar findings or at least lend support to the regulations. This, in turn, will place pressure on agencies in the United States (primarily, the FDA, which regulates food safety in the United States) to set limits for PFAS in food.
Lawyers and Settlements: Bayer’s Bumps over Monsanto’s Roundup Litigation — Litigation over Bayer’s proposed settlement in its Roundup case has seen some roadblocks, with both plaintiffs and defendants waffling back and forth along with a few delays. Bayer’s deal, which would see a total payment of over $10 to resolve current and address potential future litigation, is one of the largest U.S. civil litigation settlements ever, with “extraordinarily complex” negotiations that produced separate agreements with 25 lead law firms whose clients will receive varying amounts.