News recap for 9-25-20
The Hill: A judge’s Monsanto ruling affects both the law and the economy — Richard Grenell, former U.S. ambassador to Germany, argues that a recent ruling against Bayer in a case involving glyphosate in its Roundup weedkiller sets a harmful precedent, ignoring facts in favor of allowing “powerful patrons of a political party [to] benefit.” He continues: “The lawyers representing customers who argue, against the evidence, that glyphosate is carcinogenic to humans are making off handsomely; they can ignore science, play on emotion, and count their cash. As a cancer survivor, I cannot stand to see the endless advertisements running on cable news trolling other survivors of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma to join their class-action lawsuit. It is not only unscientific, it is offensive and immoral.”
MarketWatch: ‘Junk Science’ and Roundup Verdicts Examined in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons — In the fall issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Paul Driessen, J.D., examines the evidence and the legal process in this case study of litigation that is destroying companies and technology. Using glyphosate as a case study, Driessen concludes that “mass tort ‘jackpot justice’ law firms continue to devise and implement better strategies, skills, technologies, alliances, financing, and ability to capitalize on previous victories—making them one of the biggest threats America’s corporations, technologies, legal system, and society have ever faced.”
AL.com: Alabama utility drops 3M lawsuit over chemical contamination — The Guin Water Works and Sewer Board is withdrawing a lawsuit it filed earlier this month against chemical company 3M over PFAS chemicals detected in the creek that supplies its drinking water. Instead, the Water Works and 3M announced that they will work together, along with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, to investigate the presence of those chemicals in local waters.
The National Law Review: PFAS GenX Study Draws Direct Comparisons With PFOA — A new study regarding the health effects of the much heralded PFAS variant “GenX” shows results that compare in some ways to other PFOA studies. The test is one of the first to directly try to draw comparisons between GenX and PFOA, as opposed to focusing singularly on GenX. Its conclusions show some adverse health effects in the studied mice, which will add fodder to arguments of those who are pushing for the EPA, state government bodies, and the EU to regulate all PFAS as a single chemical class. Yet, other studies regarding GenX are still not concluded and there is no consensus yet among the scientific community regarding the toxicity profile of GenX, either by itself or as compared to PFOA.
AG Daily: Lawyer behind major Roundup lawsuit jailed in extortion scheme — Two members of the trial team that sued Monsanto in the cancer case of Dewayne Johnson pled guilty to attempting to extort $200 million from an unnamed international chemical company. The two admitted that they threatened the unnamed company (“Company 1”) that unless they were paid $200 million, Company 1 would have “thousands of future plaintiffs against [Company 1]” and that “in the absence of a so-called ‘global’ or final deal with me, this will certainly balloon into an existential threat to [Company 1].”
The National Law Review: PFAS Lawsuit Statute of Limitations Expanded In Michigan — Michigan recently became the second state to extend the PFAS lawsuit statute of limitations, as their Attorney General joined a group of government officials to hire private law firms to pursue PFAS suits on a contingent basis. Legislators in Michigan have proposed a new regulation that would lengthen the statute of limitations to bring PFAS claims to six years after remediation starts. The legislators also proposed another bill that would trigger the statute of limitations for bringing PFAS suits on the date it was known or should have been known that a PFAS release occurred, rather than the existing triggering event, which is when the PFAS was actually released.
FOX Illinois: EPA is bringing back the popular yet controversial farm herbicide atrazine — The EPA is in the final stages of renewing the herbicide atrazine for approval, citing a dire need for the project by American farmers. The EPA has imposed new regulations for the use of atrazine, including reduced applications on turf to protect children, new irrigation requirements, and changes to the label directions.