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New Mexico Personal Injury Blog

Bayer fight continues against product liability lawsuits

The lawsuits involving the weed killer Roundup, a product created by Monsanto, continue to generate headlines in New Mexico and around the nation. There are now more than 18,000 outstanding product liability lawsuits pending against Bayer, the parent company of Monsanto. Bayer claims the product, which has been around since the 1970s, is safe. However, recent jury verdicts have ruled in favor of the plaintiffs who claimed it caused cancer.

A recent article highlights actions taken by Bayer in an attempt to sway public opinion and persuade people that the product is safe. These efforts allegedly included attempts to discredit journalists and others questioning the safety of Roundup as well as efforts to manipulate search engine results regarding the carcinogenic effects of the product. Roundup contains glyphosate, which evidence suggests may be carcinogenic.

Product liability cases face challenges from commerce in 2019

Commerce in 2019 has a very different look. Uber is changing the way people get around in New Mexico. Air BNB is changing the hotel industry. Amazon has become arguably the world's largest and most diverse retailer. However, if a consumer has an issue with a product from one of these companies and claims a product liability issue, the parent company claims it is merely facilitating a service and, in Amazon's case, that it doesn't actually sell anything and therefore can't be held liable.

One of the issues with Amazon is that items found to be dangerous may still be available on the company's website. One example is a sleep mat intended for infants that was found to present a risk of suffocation. If a vendor cannot be held liable for a faulty product the incentive to protect it from liability cases might disappear.

EPA rejects warning labels for Roundup

Roundup is one of the most popular herbicides in the world. The product was marketed as one of the safest weed killers beginning in the 1970s and has been used in New Mexico by countless numbers of gardeners, farmers and landscapers.

However, a 2015 report by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Cancer Research suggests Roundup, or glyphosate, is likely to cause cancer in humans. Almost at once, hundreds of patients sued Monsanto claiming the use of glyphosate caused them to contract non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and the number of lawsuits has grown to more than 11,000.

Product liability debate continues around makers of Roundup

Roundup has been one of the most popular products for killing weeds in New Mexico and around the country for years. The company that makes it has recently been embroiled in a product liability lawsuit brought by people who believe it was a significant contributor to their cancer diagnoses. Currently, more than 18,000 people have signed on to numerous claims being brought against the manufacturer of Roundup, Monsanto. Monsanto is currently owned  by Bayer.

A rumor recently reported in the media states that Bayer is considering paying as much as $8 billion to settle the claims. No information has been forthcoming from Bayer regarding the validity of the rumor. The issue with Roundup first came to light in 2015 in a report by the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) that connected the main ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, as a probable cancer-causing agent.

PCBs involved in current product liability lawsuits

Monsanto has been dealing with lawsuits involving their product Roundup for some time. Roundup was developed by Monsanto, which was then acquired by Bayer, and has been the subject of many product liability lawsuits. Another issue concerning chemicals used by Monsanto has become the subject of lawsuits in many states, including New Mexico.

Polychlorinated biphenyls, better known as PCBs, are chemicals that were used in a large number of products ranging from electrical transformers, paints, sealants and inks. The PCBs were identified by scientists as likely causes of cancers and other serious illnesses. PCBs became an issue of concern in the 1970s when it was discovered that the chemicals had been illegally dumped into many waterways around the nation, including reservoirs and ponds in New Mexico.

Veterans sue 3M for defective earplugs

It’s not surprising news that service members face unique dangers that most Americans do not. They are exposed to gunfire, loud explosions and other potentially life-changing threats. Not only are veterans more prone to PTSD, they are more susceptible to hearing loss as well.

Now, 3M is facing hundreds of lawsuits from veterans alleging that the company knowingly sold defective earplugs to the military, resulting in tinnitus and hearing loss.

Causes of medical malpractice are many

People in New Mexico enter a hospital with the expectation of receiving medical care that will remediate the condition they have been admitted for. Conditions can include mental and physical illness, broken bones or pregnancy, to name a few. Doctors are human, but a physician's failure to successfully treat a patient can result in a medical malpractice case.

Many malpractice suits stem from complications during childbirth. Such instances can include a failure to diagnose a problem early in the pregnancy. Early diagnosis of complicating factors such as anemia, gestational diabetes or hypoglycemia can allow obstetricians to treat the condition, lessening the chance of injury to the mother or unborn child.

Bayer facing growing number of product liability cases

The controversy surrounding Roundup weed killer continues to be a top item in the news in New Mexico. Bayer, the company that developed Roundup, has said in the past that it would vigorously defend itself against the numerous lawsuits claiming product liability that have been brought against it. The suits claimed that the use of Roundup caused cancer in many of its users. Bayer has maintained that its product is safe.

Recent developments might indicate that Bayer is having a change of heart and is working toward a settlement. The company has hired an external lawyer to advise the litigation team, and this is seen as a positive sign. The attorney worked on a similar case for a pharmaceutical company that resulted in a settlement for the plaintiffs.

Contaminated flour could result in product liability claim

Flour is a staple in most kitchens in New Mexico and elsewhere throughout the country. It is used in everything from breads to cakes to sauces and many tasty items in between. And now it may be making people sick and could result in product liability claims. Pillsbury Best brand flour has been added to a list of brands that have recently been recalled because of mounting cases of E. coli bacteria-related illnesses. In addition to Pillsbury Best, King Arthur announced recalls of certain bags of its unbleached All-Purpose flour and Aldi also issued a recall for Baker's Corner All-Purpose Flour.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that there have been 17 illnesses reported that are believed to have been caused by exposure to E. coli found in the recalled flour. Three of those people were hospitalized. The bags of flour that are believed to be affected bear the UPC code 051500200315. They also have a use by date of June 8 or June 9, 2020.

Possible electric car failure results in products liability case

Elon Musk and his Tesla Motor Company have had more than their share of issues in recent years. A products liability case has recently been brought against the company. The case may have implications for the future of the Model 3 electric sedan in New Mexico and elsewhere around the country.

A person in another state was driving his Tesla 3 the day after he had purchased it. He was driving at low speed in rush hour traffic and went to change lanes. Something popped, the brakes engaged on the car and the steering wheel locked. The front passenger-side wheel then came off the car and caused the vehicle to skid onto a sidewalk and hit a tree.

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