Author Archives: Giovanni Ciavarra

Was There Exposure? Objective Tests Through Advances in Biomarker Science Relevant to Asbestos and Other Toxic Tort Litigation

Some of the most difficult product liability cases to resolve are tough because of a lack of clarity as to the duration or amount of exposure. For example, defendants and plaintiffs sometimes take very different views of exposure in the so-called “take home” cases where a spouse allegedly developed a cancer from a “toxin” in the workplace of the other spouse. Over the next few years, some litigants will be smart enough to take advantage of the findings from new, objective tests that are arising…

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New Considerations in Defending Against Lung Cancer Cases Part 2: Genetic Signatures

Lung cancer claiming in asbestos litigation is not gone. To the contrary, a very recent report from KCIC points out the numbers, including 60 lung cancer filings this year by Napoli Shkolnick, 54 cases by Weitz & Luxenberg, and 35 by the Simmons firm. More broadly, KCIC explained: Lung cancer filings make up about 24 percent of the total filings received this year through August 31. Of these cases, Gori Julian & Associates filed the most cases at 120 and Napoli Shkolnik is second with…

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New Considerations in Defending Against Lung Cancer Cases Part 1: HPV Status

For some time now, we have been writing, discussing, and suggesting that there is great value in thinking about genetic and other “omic” data when defending toxic tort or product liability cases involving disease allegations of any kind. But these “omic” data are especially critical in cases involving allegations of cancer causation. On this note, we were intrigued when we saw a recent post reporting that defense experts and lawyers in asbestos litigation spent some time thinking about the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) as a…

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Genomics: Beyond Asbestos and Into Talcum Powder Litigation and Ovarian Cancer

It appears that 2016 may be the year that genomics and other aspects of molecular science make a big splash in “mass tort” litigation. While genomic analysis has long been used in forensics, it has also made its way into toxic tort cases, such as benzene exposure cases, and asbestos and mesothelioma cases. Indeed, the first BAP1 and mesothelioma case is now on the books (see our recent post on this here). Recently, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) was ordered to pay $72 million

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