LITIGATION UPDATES – MAY 2016
Monsanto Overcomes $20M PCB Cancer Claims
A Los Angeles jury found Monsanto not liable in a $20 million trial brought by two men alleging they developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma after being exposed to the company’s polychlorinated biphenyls, saying the company was negligent in designing and distributing the chemical but did not cause the men’s cancer. Jurors were apparently persuaded by evidence and arguments by Monsanto Co.’s attorney that the consumers cannot prove PCBs cause their type of cancer.
Government Officials In Their Individual Capacity Cannot Be Sued To Compel Official Government Agency Action
The Ninth Circuit said that government officials in their individual capacities can’t be the target of suits seeking to compel official government agency action, striking down claims against a wildlife refuge director over a Nevada stream diversion.
Doctor Accused Of Negligence In NFL Player’s Death
California’s medical board has accused a former San Diego Chargers team doctor of negligence in the death of former Chargers linebacker Junior Seau, who killed himself in 2012. David Jee Wei Chao, who worked for the NFL team from 1997 to 2013, continued to treat Seau after the linebacker was traded in 2003 and after the Hall of Famer retired in 2010. During that time, Chao frequently prescribed Seau with drugs but did not sufficiently monitor him and manage his other conditions.
Sony Pictures Settles No-Poach Class Action
Sony Pictures has agreed to pay $13 million to settle a proposed class action accusing it and other major Hollywood studios of illegally conspiring not to poach each other’s animators.
Do Quaker Oats Contain Possible Carcinogens?
Quaker Oats was hit with a proposed class action in California federal court in which plaintiffs claim that the food giant advertises its oatmeal as 100 percent natural and eco-friendly, when it instead includes a potentially cancer-causing weed killer.
Uber Settles ADA Lawsuit Over Claim It Refused Rides to Blind Customers With Service Animals
Uber Technologies Inc. has settled a putative California federal class action accusing the ride-hailing service of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and alleging drivers for the company’s UberX service often refuse rides to blind customers with service animals.
GM Truck Drivers Lose Class Cert. Bid Over Typicality Failure
A California federal judge has refused to certify a proposed class of GM truck drivers who allege that a design defect in their DMAX diesel engines hinders advertised fuel efficiency, after finding it’s clear not all drivers of the trucks at issue have experienced the same alleged problem.