Blog

November 2014

Jury Awards $155,000 to Actos Victim

An injured plaintiff was awarded $155,000 in West Virginia for his Actos-related bladder cancer. The jury was only out three hours before it rendered its verdict. This verdict followed right on the heels of a Philadelphia jury verdict of $2 million to another former Actos user. In the recent trial the judge allowed the lawyer for the plaintiff to argue that defendant, Takeda, intentionally destroyed many of its Actos development and marketing files. The US spokesperson for Takeda said that the company is considering its options, which would include an appeal. There are more than 8,000 Actos cases filed around the country, with over 3,500 filed in federal court (which is where Locks Law Firm LLC files its Actos cases).

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Toxic Chemicals, Benzene Concentrations Increase Exponentially by Fracking Sites

In a world increasingly concerned about available sources of energy, scientific innovations have opened the door to new methods of obtaining natural gas and oil. One such method, known as hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – functions as a double-edged sword because it permits energy companies to obtain previously unreachable sources of energy, but poses significant environmental and health risks.

The risks of hydraulic fracturing are manifesting as it was recently proven that eight poisonous chemicals were found near fracking sites in Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Colorado, Ohio and Wyoming. Benzene, a carcinogen linked to leukemia and cancer, was the most common chemical found near fracking sites.  Additionally, researchers from Yale and the University of Washington determined that residents who lived within a kilometer of a fracking well had up to twice the number of health problems as those living at least two kilometers away. Overall, experts are concerned that both residents and workers may be exposed to high levels of toxic chemicals due to hydraulic fracturing processes.

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Your cosmetic products may contain asbestos!

Thousands of consumer products contain that fine powder called talc. In a recent study, scientists from three different laboratories discuss the fact that talc mines can be contaminated with the deadly mineral, asbestos. Doctors, researchers and lawyers representing plaintiffs have looked at patients with mesothelioma (a rare, fatal form of cancer caused by asbestos) and have sometimes struggled to find the source of the asbestos exposure that caused the mesothelioma, a cancer caused only by asbestos. If, for example, a woman diagnosed with mesothelioma never worked near asbestos, nor did her husband, it can sometimes be difficult to ascertain the source of the asbestos exposure. The existence of asbestos in baby powder, women's cosmetic products, men's barbershop powder,  and other products is a serious health concern. Mesothelioma is a rapidly growing, fatal cancer that grows in the pleura (the thin lining of the lungs and chest wall, the peritoneum (which covers the abdominal cavity) and the pericardium (the sac surrounding the heart). Although the cosmetic industry and the commercial talc mining companies deny it, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO) classifies talc that contains asbestos as "carcinogenic to humans". Even if the talc product contains only a small amount of asbestos, the consumer frequently shakes it and applies it very close to their nose and mouth in a small, confined space. The FDA claims that it has almost no control over cosmetics, and those products'  safety and labelling is left up to the manufacturers or importers. The study discussing these issues is in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health.

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