Asbestos Exposure Lawsuit and Litigation Attorneys in Mississippi

    Advocates for Victims of Occupational Illnesses –  Mesothelioma Lawyers

    Despite a decline in the use of asbestos in recent decades, health care professionals diagnose 3,000 people with mesothelioma each year. The reason for the consistent development of new cases of mesothelioma is that the disease might not be diagnosable until between 20 and 50 years after exposure to asbestos. The vast majority of mesothelioma victims experience exposure to asbestos fibers in the workplace.

    Pursuing All Remedies for Asbestos-Related Illnesses

    If you have developed mesothelioma or other serious asbestos-related diseases like lung cancer or asbestosis through workplace exposure, you might have the right to workers compensation benefits from your employer. Workers compensation benefits can include free medical care, partial wage replacement, permanent disability payments, and death benefits. The right to these benefits does not require you to establish your employer’s negligence.; however, the total recovery tends to be far less than in a personal injury lawsuit because pain and suffering, loss of consortium, emotional distress, punitive damages, and some other types of personal injury damages are not available under the workers compensation system.

    Our experienced asbestos exposure personal injury attorneys also can explore potential third-party liability claims against the manufacturer of the asbestos product, contractors, property owners, and other parties. Personal injury damages will be more extensive, but negligence might need to be established although this depends on the third-party against whom the lawsuit is filed. The manufacturers of the asbestos or the product containing asbestos fibers might be strictly liable (i.e., liability without fault) under defective product law.

    Advantages of Retaining Porter & Malouf for Mesothelioma Lawsuits

    Many law firms indicate that they handle mesothelioma lawsuits related to asbestos exposure, but Porter & Malouf, P.A. has been a leader in this area of toxic tort litigation. Our asbestos exposure attorneys have developed a reputation as exemplary trial lawyers based in part on our participation in the last two major asbestos cases in the U.S. As early as 1998, Tim Porter participated in and presented the closing argument in the Cosey v. E. D. Bullard asbestos jury trial although he was only 29 years old. The jury returned a verdict of $48.5 million. Tim Porter also served as one of the lead trial lawyers in Simeon Johnson v. AC&S, et al., which resulted in a jury verdict of $150 million for 12 asbestos victims.

    This track record of success, along with other multi-million dollar recoveries, has earned Porter & Malouf, P.A. numerous accolades and awards. Our law firm’s successful representation of thousands of asbestos victims, along with the hundreds of millions of dollars we have obtained in verdicts and settlements, has contributed to our law firm being recognized as the “14th Winningest Law Firm in the United States” by the 2002 National Law Journal. Our law firm also has received the honor of the AV® Preeminent Rating, which is the highest distinction conferred within Martindale-Hubbell’s rating system based on legal expertise, experience, peer evaluation, and integrity.

    Asbestos exposure litigation is complex because of a variety of factual and legal challenges. The large scale of litigation involved in mesothelioma cases requires a law firm with the expertise and experience to handle large mass tort claims. Our lawyers have a track record that includes successful representation of thousands of clients in asbestos cases with cumulative recoveries of hundreds of millions of dollars. Because of our proven litigation results, including massive jury verdicts, insurance companies and the attorneys who defend these cases know that we are not only prepared to take mesothelioma cases to trial, but we also expect to win. This awareness promotes an environment of collegial respect that fosters efficient and effective settlement discussions. Our extensive history handling asbestos cases also has allowed Malouf & Porter, P.A. to establish relationships with a substantial number of nationally renowned experts who can provide critical testimony and opinions regarding the cause and prognosis of a client’s asbestos exposure-related illness.

    What Is Asbestos?

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines asbestos as the designation given to six minerals with long, thin fibers usually located within soil and rocks. Asbestos has been used in hundreds of products in a wide range of manufactured goods largely because of its strength, fire-resistant and insulating characteristics. The product has been used in the manufacturing of a wide array of goods and settings that include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Friction Products (transmission parts, automobile clutch, vehicle brakes)
    • Laboratories
    • Heat Resistant Fabrics, Gaskets, Coatings, and Packaging
    • Machinery (valves, pumps)
    • Construction Materials (siding, asbestos cement products, roof shingles, paper products, floor and ceiling tiles)

    What is Asbestosis?

    Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease that like mesothelioma is caused almost exclusively by exposure to asbestos. This serious lung disease involves scarring of the tissue of the lungs that compromises breathing. Asbestosis is incurable, but the prognosis frequently is much more positive than that of mesothelioma or lung cancer. While patients can live with the disease for many years, the patient’s condition will tend to deteriorate over time, necessitating more intensive treatment.

    The development of asbestosis is linked to exposure to chrysotile fibers (one of the six known types of asbestos). Once the fibers have been breathed into the lungs, they cause long-term scarring. This scarring results in the lung tissue becoming thicker and less elastic. Patients suffering from asbestosis experience difficulty and pain when breathing. Symptoms of asbestosis include:

    • Chest pain
    • Inability to tolerate exercise
    • Coughing
    • Struggling to breathe during routine tasks
    • Shortness of breath

    Treatment of the condition could involve medications and surgery in some cases.

    What Is Mesothelioma?

    Mesothelioma usually develops many years after a person is exposed to asbestos in the workplace. While most cases of mesothelioma occur after long-term exposure to asbestos fibers, one-time and short-term exposure to asbestos fibers also can cause this form of cancer. When products containing asbestos are disturbed, the tiny fibers are circulated into the air. When these microscopic fibers are swallowed or inhaled, the fibers become trapped in the outer lung tissue and within the mesothelium, which is a thin membrane of cells that releases a lubricating fluid, enabling the lungs and other internal structures to expand and contract without friction.

    The entrapped fibers stimulate biological changes over time that result in scarring, inflammation, and genetic damages that can lead to this form of cancer. Asbestos fibers are most frequently trapped within the pleura, which is the lining of the lungs resulting in mesothelioma or asbestosis. However, the tiny fibers also can become lodged in the pericardium (heart) or the abdominal cavity (peritoneum). While the fibers typically trigger biological modifications over a prolonged period, this slow development of mesothelioma creates a latency period that can last decades. When the cancer progresses, malignant cells multiply and can spread, implicating other organs and regions of the body.

    Types of Mesothelioma

    While there are technically four forms of mesothelioma: pleural (lungs), pericardial (heart), peritoneal (abdomen), and testicular, pleural and peritoneal comprise 90% of cases.

    Pleural Mesothelioma (Lungs): This form of the disease develops in the lining of the lungs and constitutes the most common form of this cancer of the lung. Pleural mesothelioma represents approximately 75% of diagnosed cases of the disease. When this form of mesothelioma is diagnosed early, the possibility of a surgical cure might be possible. In later stages, treatment tends to be aimed at easing symptoms and maximizing the quality of a patient’s life. Symptoms of this form of mesothelioma include:

    • Unremitting dry cough
    • Night sweats and fever
    • Persistent chest pain
    • Fatigue
    • Shortness of breath
    • Difficulty swallowing

    Peritoneal Mesothelioma (Abdomen): This form of the disease is caused by asbestos fibers in the mesothelial lining of the abdomen, referred to as the peritoneum. Peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for 20% of cases. When patients develop this form of the disease, they might experience thickening of the peritoneal membrane and the accumulation of fluid. This form of mesothelioma tends to metastasize to other areas of the body and organs more rapidly than other variations of the disease, so treatment options are typically limited although heated chemotherapy has shown promise. Symptoms of this form of the disease include:

    • Nausea & vomiting
    • Abdominal pain
    • Fatigue
    • Weight loss
    • Diarrhea or constipation
    • Abdominal swelling

    Pericardial Mesothelioma (Heart): This form of mesothelioma occurs in the exterior lining of the heart, referred to as pericardium. This form of cancer is rare and constitutes approximately 1% of mesothelioma cases. When the disease develops, fluid accumulates in the areas between the layers of the pericardium. This form of the disease is most typically subject to a palliative care regimen because surgery is risky given the proximity of tumors to the heart. Symptoms of this form of mesothelioma include:

    • Chest pain
    • Coughing
    • Fatigue
    • Irregular heartbeat
    • Night sweats
    • Fever
    • Difficulty breathing

    Testicular Mesothelioma: This is the rarest form of mesothelioma, which accounts for under 1% of cases. This form of the disease develops in the lining of the testes, referred to as tunica vaginalis. This form of mesothelioma is usually diagnosed based on a swollen scrotum and pain emanating from lumps on the testes.

    How Can I Know Asbestos Exposure Caused my Mesothelioma?

    Asbestos exposure constitutes the primary cause of mesothelioma in most cases. Although other factors might contribute to the development of this form of cancer, these factors usually are relevant when a person also has a history of exposure to asbestos fibers. Approximately 70-80% of individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma have a history of asbestos exposure. Most mesothelioma victims are exposed to asbestos in the workplace, but there are some cases of environment exposure or third-party exposure, such as a wife inhaling fibers while washing her husband’s work uniform. 

    What Types of Jobs Face a High Risk of Developing Mesothelioma?

    Because of the impermeability and heat resistant nature of asbestos, the substance was most commonly used in the construction, shipbuilding and construction trades. Workers with the highest risk of asbestos exposure include the following:

    Shipbuilding and Shipyards

    • Mill Wrights
    • Machinists
    • Steamfitters
    • Ship Fitters
    • Electricians
    • Operating Engineers
    • Welders
    • Ironworkers

    Construction Trades

    • Roofers
    • Factory Workers
    • Boilermakers
    • Insulators
    • Drywallers
    • Plumbers
    • Masons
    • Tile Setters
    • Painters
    • Miners
    • Electricians
    • Sheet Metal Workers
    • Laborers
    • Plasterers
    • Carpenters
    • Insulators
    • Masonry Workers

    Auto Mechanics 

    • Brake Service Repair Technicians
    • Hoodliner Part Replacement Technicians
    • Clutch Repair Technicians

    Special Challenges Involved in Mesothelioma Litigation

    When you are pursuing compensation for asbestos exposure-related illnesses like mesothelioma, your attorneys must have both extensive knowledge of the law regarding personal injury and asbestos, as well as comprehensive knowledge of this form of cancer. Our attorneys have nearly two decades of experience winning lawsuits and recovering hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of thousands of mesothelioma victims.

    One of the most significant challenges when pursuing a mesothelioma lawsuit is evaluating where the responsibility rests for a plaintiff’s asbestos exposure. Hundreds of businesses required their workers to perform their duties in settings where asbestos was present. Many other companies furnished products that contained asbestos, which was used by companies that employed workers who subsequently developed mesothelioma.

    Because this form of cancer has a latency period that can last for decades, the process of tracking down these companies can be difficult. Our lawyers meet with clients to develop a thorough history of previous jobs, places of residence, and even occupations of close family members. Our law firm then works to correlate this information with records from prior mesothelioma lawsuits that comprise the legal history involving mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases. We work diligently to identify all companies that might bear responsibility because some parties that contributed to a mesothelioma victim’s asbestos exposure might have gone out of business long ago. Since Porter & Malouf, P.A. has represented many asbestos victims, we have the financial resources and experience to conduct the careful investigation asbestos exposure lawsuits require to maximize the financial recovery.

    Our extensive network of expert witnesses also provides a significant advantage for asbestos exposure victims. These experts have a thorough familiarity with the companies and products that handled and produced asbestos products, so they can assist in establishing the likely sources of your asbestos exposure. These experts also can provide important scientific, medical, and industry-related testimony in an understandable manner in the courtroom.

    Why You Need to Immediately Seek Legal Advice if Diagnosed with Mesothelioma

    You are not expected to file an asbestos exposure lawsuit if you have no reason to know you have developed an asbestos-related disease. All states have a statute of limitations that establishes a deadline for filing your lawsuit after you have received a mesothelioma diagnosis. Our mesothelioma lawyers can advise you regarding the deadline to file your lawsuit and file your case so that you are not permanently barred from seeking compensation for your personal injuries or the loss of a loved one. Failure to file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs (expires) usually will constitute a complete bar to pursuing your claim.

    Five Important Facts about Mesothelioma Lawsuits 

    At Porter & Malouf, P.A., our asbestos exposure lawyers are committed to keeping our clients informed about the progress of their case and responding to client inquiries promptly. Even in large-scale asbestos litigation, we treat each client as an individual. Our attorneys and staff recognize that our clients are more than plaintiffs and case files, they are beloved grandparents, parents, siblings, and children to their families, so we treat our clients with the respect and compassion that these important relationships merit. Because of our mission to ensure clients are informed, we have provided five critical facts about asbestos exposure litigation that all plaintiffs should know:

    • Most asbestos exposure cases settle before trial
    • An increasing number of recent lawsuits involving asbestos exposure involve non-traditional defendants, such as the manufacturers of cosmetic talc containing asbestos
    • Existing mesothelioma trust funds contain more than $30 million in assets to satisfy verdicts and settlements obtained by mesothelioma victims
    • Personal injury lawsuits involving asbestos exposure constitute the longest running “mass tort” litigation in U.S. history
    • The total number of lawsuits involving asbestos-related illnesses has continue to climb significantly in recent years

    Speak to a Mesothelioma Lawyer Today

    Porter & Malouf, P.A. works tenaciously in pursuit of the maximum financial recovery for our clients. Our Mississippi mesothelioma attorneys also work with experts in a vast array of industries while conducting a thorough investigation of the facts and engaging in extensive research of novel legal issues. Our results provide the most compelling reason that clients trust us to tenaciously pursue the maximum compensation for their loss. Examples of verdicts and settlements our law firm has obtained include:

    • $150 Million personal injury asbestos lawsuit
    • $72 Million jury verdict for ovarian cancer caused by talcum powder
    • $7.6 Million personal injury lawsuit involving silica exposure
    • $7 Million personal injury lawsuit arising from exposure to lead paint
    • $2 Million personal injury lawsuit related to an auto accident

    We invite you to contact Porter & Malouf, P.A. at (866) 957-1173 or complete an online contact form for a free case evaluation.

    Sources:

    http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/asbestos/

    https://www.epa.gov/asbestos

    http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/mesothelioma/risk-factors

    Silica Exposure and Silicosis Lawsuit Lawyers

    Silica Exposure and Silicosis Lawsuits

    When you dedicate your life to diligently pursuing a living while giving your employer your best efforts, you do not expect your diligence and labor to be rewarded with exposure to a toxic substance. Despite this reasonable expectation, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) estimates that about 2.2 million workers have been exposed to crystalline silica in dust form in the workplace. This exposure has resulted in thousands of union workers, tradespeople, and other workers exposed to substances containing silica suffering a diminishing capacity to breathe due to silicosis, a fatal lung disease.

    At Porter & Malouf, P.A., our silica exposure lawyers have experience and a proven track record in silica litigation, as well as the resources to prevail in large toxic tort claims. Whether you are the surviving family member of a worker exposed to silica on the job, or you are suffering from silica-related medical conditions, the serious nature of silicosis merits representation by a law firm recognized as the 14th Winningest Law Firm in the Country as featured in the 2002 National Law Journal.

    The Problem with Silica Exposure

    Crystalline silica is considered among the most common minerals, but exposure to the substance in dust form can be fatal. People who inhale silica dust particles in the workplace, from sources near their home, or the products they handle can develop severe health problems that include:

    • Silicosis
    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
    • Lung Cancer
    • Tuberculosis
    • Lupus
    • Kidney Disease
    • Scleroderma
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Silicosis is a common and potentially deadly condition experienced by many workers in a variety of industrial, construction, mining, and manufacturing settings. Silicosis is a fatal disease that is caused by inhaling silica dust. When the silica particles are inhaled into the lungs, the dust damages the lung tissue which causes fibrosis or scarring. This damage to the lungs can compromise lung function. Individuals with silicosis often experience tuberculosis as a complication. Tuberculosis constitutes the most common cause of death among those suffering from silica exposure. Studies indicate the development of silicosis triples the risk of developing tuberculosis.

    How Porter & Malouf, P.A. Can Help Silica Exposure Victims

    Lawsuits involving exposure to toxic substances like silica or asbestos in the workplace, environment, or products involve complicated issues that necessitate the use of a law firm with a proven record of success handling these types of claims. Some of the advantages of working with Porter & Malouf, P.A. include:

    Recognition of Need for Prompt Investigation: The serious nature of silicosis and other life-threatening diseases caused by silica combined with a substantial lapse of time since exposure makes prompt investigation imperative. Our silica attorneys understand the importance of researching the types and brands of products containing silica, work history, manufacturers and brands of paper dust masks, locations of exposure, blasting equipment, and cartridge manufacturers.

    Familiarity with Defense Counsel and Insurance Companies: Our success in large toxic tort cases has allowed our attorneys to develop familiarity with the law firms that defend these cases and the insurance companies that represent the defendants. Because of our multi-million dollar recoveries in silicosis and asbestos cases, these defense firms and insurance carriers respect our firm and recognize the quality of our work. This existing relationship facilitates trust and communication which promotes positive outcomes for our clients.

    Established Record of Results and Experience: Porter & Malouf, P.A. is a litigation firm whose attorneys possess over fifty years of collective experience. Our reputation has been built in part on our successful involvement in the last two major asbestos cases in the U.S. Both partners from whom our firm derives its name, Timothy W. Porter and Patrick Cash Malouf, have been given a prestigious “AV” rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating awarded. In addition to being designated as the 14th Winningest Law Firm by the 2002 National Law Journal, Tim Porter has been recognized by “Superlawyers” in 2012 and designated by Mississippi’s Business Journal as among the “Leaders in Law” in 2011. These accolades are based to a significant degree on the results we have obtained for our clients. Our law firm has secured the following verdicts and judgments in other toxic tort cases:

    • $150 Million Asbestos Personal Injury
    • $72 Million Talcum Ovarian Jury Verdict
    • $7.6 Million Silica Personal Injury
    • $7 Million Lead Paint Personal Injury

    Network of Highly Regarded Experts & Extensive Litigation Resources: Toxic tort cases involve a fair amount of complex scientific information about the causal link between a toxic substance like silica and the medical condition experienced by the personal injury or wrongful death victim. Experts used in these cases must have impeccable credentials with the ability to communicate complex scientific and medical information to the judge or jury in a manner that is understandable and persuasive. Because of our law firm’s background handling complex toxic tort cases, we have access to world-renowned experts. These types of lawsuits also entail extensive litigation expenses, and our law firm possesses the litigation resources to invest in pursuing the best results for our clients.

    Focus on Client Relations: Although our law firm has been successful in obtaining substantial verdicts and settlements in large-scale litigation and complicated toxic tort cases, our clients appreciate that we treat each client as an individual. Our staff and attorneys are all dedicated to guiding our clients through the litigation process while providing timely case updates and responses to client inquiries. Our attorneys strive to return client calls the same or next business day because we understand that the practice of law should be a client centric endeavor.

    Exploring All Avenues to Recovery: Many defendants responsible for silica exposure may pursue the protection of bankruptcy court. Our law firm anticipates this risk, so we explore the potential liability of third party defendants, which might include respiratory equipment manufacturers, sand suppliers and manufacturers, sandblasting equipment suppliers and manufacturers, shot blast cabinet manufacturers, grinding wheel manufacturers, and refractory products manufacturers.

    Handling Silica Litigation Specific Issues: Our law firm has successfully represented clients in silicosis cases based on our expertise handling silica specific issues. We explore liability against the company responsible for the unsafe work environment, as well as the manufacturer of the product. Our attorneys also work diligently to prove our clients’ level of breathing impairment to establish medical qualification. Porter & Malouf, P.A. also substantiates our clients’ damage claims in multidistrict litigation (MDL) to secure our clients’ rights to individual jury trials.

    Contact Porter & Malouf, P.A. for a Silica Exposure Lawsuit Evaluation

    At Porter & Malouf, P.A., our silicosis attorneys represent victims exposed to this toxic substance and the surviving families of wrongful death victims with compassion and tenacity. Our law firm is committed to holding companies that expose individuals to toxic substances accountable for the harm they cause while pursuing the fullest financial recovery for victims and their families. We invite you to contact Porter & Malouf, P.A. at (866) 957-1173 or complete an online contract form for a free case evaluation.
    Sources:

    https://www.osha.gov/silica/factsheets/OSHA_FS-3683_Silica_Overview.html

    Recent Developments in Talcum Powder Litigation and Lawsuits

    Mississippi Talc Exposure Lawyers Discuss Recent Developments in Talcum Powder Litigation Involving Ovarian Cancer

    Although enormous numbers of women have relied on talcum powder for feminine hygiene needs for nearly half a century, approximately 12,000 lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of talc products. Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has already been subject to large verdicts in lawsuits involving women who developed ovarian cancer related to their use of talcum powder. Products involved in these lawsuits include Baby Magic Baby Powder from Valeant Pharmaceuticals, J&J Shower to Shower, and J&J Baby Powder. Juries have been returning large verdicts in these talcum powder exposure lawsuits because of scientific studies revealing a link between ovarian cancer and the use of talc powder products. Further, allegations in recent lawsuits based on internal documents of J&J indicate that the company knew its product created an increased risk of women developing ovarian cancer.

    Understanding Talcum Powder 

    “Talc” is a substance that is comprised of a range of minerals that includes magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. The substance is ground into fine particles that constitute a powder. This powder is marketed for a range of uses such as controlling moisture in the female genital area. Although multiple companies produce talcum powder products, Johnson & Johnson constitutes the largest manufacturer of talcum dust for absorbing excess moisture and avoiding rashes among elderly adults. Talc powder has been widely used to absorb urine, bodily fluids, and sweat because of its absorbency.

    Studies Linking Talcum Powder to Elevated Risk for Ovarian Cancer 

    Multiple studies have revealed a link between the use of talcum powder to absorb moisture in the female genital area and an increased risk for ovarian cancer. An epidemiologist from Harvard University testified in a talcum powder lawsuit in federal court that he estimated the substance was the cause of approximately 10,000 new victims with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer in 2013.

    A meta-analysis conducted in 2008 and published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention evaluated sixteen previous studies and determined that the results revealed a 30% increased risk of ovarian cancer among women who routinely were exposed to talc powder in the genital area. In a similar 2013 study published in Cancer Prevention Research, researchers aggregated results from multiple studies that involved 20,000 women. The study found that use of talcum powder for hygiene needs in the female genital region was linked to a 24% increase for ovarian cancer. A study reported in the May 2016 found that genital use of talc powder among African-American women resulted in a 44% higher risk of developing invasive epithelial ovarian cancer.

    These more recent results reinforce research dating back as far as 1971 that indicated a connection between the use of talc for feminine hygiene and ovarian cancer. A study published in The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology revealed that talc particles could be identified in a startling 75% of ovarian tumors. These results were reinforced by a study published in 1982 in Cancer that found women faced triple the risk of developing ovarian cancer if they used sanitary napkins that contained talcum powder.

    Why Our Ovarian Cancer Talcum Powder Lawyers Can Make a Difference

    Our talcum powder injury lawyers have extensive knowledge of the studies indicating talc contributes to ovarian cancer when used in the female genital area for hygiene purposes. Our law firm has obtained enormous verdicts and settlements for victims of mass tort claims, which includes the following:

    • $72 Million jury verdict in talcum powder ovarian cancer
    • $150 Million personal injury mesothelioma (asbestos exposure)
    • $7.6 Million personal injury silica exposure
    • $7 Million personal injury lead paint exposure
    • $2 Million personal injury auto collision

    Our results in obtaining hundreds of millions in monetary recoveries for victims of mass tort claims involving toxic substances along with our professionalism, client centric representation, and high ethical standards has earned the designation as the “14th Winningest Law Firm in the U.S.” by the 2002 National Law Journal. These traits that characterize our law firm also has facilitated Porter & Malouf, P.A. receiving an AV® Preeminent™ rating based on experience, large recoveries, and evaluation by other top lawyers.

    Recent Lawsuits Based on Increased Ovarian Cancer Risk

    Two recent verdicts within the period of a few months against Johnson & Johnson have resulted in massive awards for women who used talc. The family of Jaqueline Fox filed a wrongful death lawsuit after using Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder for 35 years. The jury in the case returned a verdict of $72 million. The plaintiffs in this case successfully alleged that J&J failed to warn the public of the risk posed by using talc near the female genital region despite being aware of this risk for many years. In a separate lawsuit, Gloria Ristesund received a $55 million jury award after fighting to survive ovarian cancer. Talc was found in her ovarian tissue following a hysterectomy according to documents filed in the lawsuit.

    Talcum Powder Manufacturers Provide No Warnings

    Although there is a wealth of research and scientific studies confirming a link between talcum powder near the female genital area, J&J has been slow to provide warnings to consumers. When J&J’s talc supplier added warning labels in 2006, J&J neglected to follow suit according to lawsuits filed against the company. J&J continues to deny a link between their talcum powder containing products and ovarian cancer and have declined to include any form of warning of a potential risk on the packaging of their products.

    How Widespread is the Problem?

    Government estimates indicate that talcum powder uses by women for female hygiene purposes causes approximately 2,000 cases of ovarian cancer annually, which amount to 10% of all ovarian cancer cases. Talcum powder is also linked to about 1,500 deaths from ovarian cancer each year. 

    Talk to a Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Attorney Today

    Porter & Malouf, P.A. works tenaciously in pursuit of the maximum financial recovery for our clients. Our Mississippi mesothelioma attorneys also work with scientific and medical experts to testify about the causal connection between the use of talc and the development of ovarian cancer. Our results provide the most compelling reason that clients trust us to tenaciously pursue the maximum compensation for their loss.

    Free Case Evaluation: If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder for female hygiene needs, you should speak to one of our leading talc ovarian cancer lawyers today by contacting Porter & Malouf, P.A. at (866) 957-1173 or complete an online contact form for a free case evaluation.

    Sources:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5558843

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/05/23/lawsuits-over-baby-powder-raise-questions-about-cancer-risk/

    http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2016/05/12/1055-9965.EPI-15-1281.abstract

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23761272

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-johnson-johnson-talc-verdict-idUSKCN0XT20L

    Porter | Malouf – $72 Million Jury Verdict vs Johnson & Johnson in Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Trial

    The Mississippi personal injury law firm of Porter | Malouf has successfully obtained a jury verdict in the amount of $72 million dollar on behalf of their client, the family of Jacqueline Fox.

    The jury award includes $10 million in actual damages and an additional $62 million in punitive damages. In the lawsuit, the family of Jacqueline Fox claimed that her ovarian cancer was caused by her continued use of talcum based products such as Johnson & Johnson baby powder. The jury agreed with the family of Jacqueline Fox and also found Johnson & Johnson guilty of fraud, conspiracy and negligence in this case.

    Talcum powder based products such as Johnson & Johnson’s Shower to Shower and Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder are manufactured and sold by Johnson & Johnson.

    “When the deadly risk became known within the company, a choice had to be made. They could warn customers of the dangers or use a substitute for talc or hide the risk and keep on selling. Johnson and Johnson chose to hide the risk and keep selling. Ms. Fox and many other women have paid and will pay with their lives.”

    – R. Allen Smith, Jr., of The Smith Law Firm in Ridgeland, MS.

    The Family Speaks Out About the Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Trial & Verdict

    If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and you have used products containing talcum powder, call Porter | Malouf to discuss your legal rights and options.

    More News Regarding the Trial:

     

    Special Preservation of Evidence Issues in Trucking Litigation

    When a 3,000 pound economy car is struck at highway speeds by a fully loaded tractor-trailer weighing as much as 80,000 pounds, the results often are catastrophic for occupants of the passenger car. The massive weight disparity between large trucks and passenger vehicles increases the likelihood that occupants of a car, pickup or SUV will suffer debilitating injuries that necessitate spiraling medical expenses, prolonged treatment and/or rehabilitative therapy, and permanent mental and/or physical disability. Given the severity of injury associated with trucking accidents, victims of negligent truck drivers and indifferent commercial carriers rely on maximizing recovery in a personal injury claim to get their lives back on track. However, unique evidentiary challenges involved in trucking litigation make these personal injury lawsuits qualitatively different than typical car accidents. This blog post outlines some of the evidentiary issues that must be successfully dealt with in Mississippi trucking accident cases. These are as follows:

    • Falsification of Records: Although drivers operating big-rigs and the commercial carriers for whom truckers work are required to keep detailed records, these documents often are unreliable. Commercial drivers are required to maintain logbooks that provide evidence of hours of service (HOS), rest breaks, off-duty periods, and inspections. The most important function of this logbook is to monitor drivers who violate anti-fatigue rules. Since drowsy or fatigued driving is considered a leading cause of trucking accidents, these logs are designed to provide a record that can be reviewed in the wake of a collision. Unfortunately, these logbooks are so routinely falsified that they have become derisively referred to in the trucking industry as “lie books.” An experienced Mississippi trucking accident attorney will be very familiar with the industry practice of keeping two sets of logs or manipulating the information in such logs. Our Mississippi trucking accident law firm routinely investigates and conducts discovery to obtain evidence that can expose misleading driver logs, including receipts for gas, motel bills, on-board data recorder information (“black boxes”), and similar evidence to ferret out attempts to cover up HOS violations.
    • Preservation of Black Box Data: When an 18-wheeler is rushed back into service following a crash, the black box, which records critical information like speed immediately prior to a collision, sudden braking, shifting of gears, hours of service, vehicle location, maintenance issues, and more, can be erased. The black box on a tractor-trailer will have limited recording capability, such as thirty days of storage. When the memory becomes full, the black box typically records over prior data. This means that critical information might be erased if immediate action is not taken to ensure the black box data is preserved.
    • Repair of the Tractor-Trailer: When a big-rig is involved in a collision, the cab or trailer might have body damage. Alternatively, faulty brakes that have not been properly serviced might fail. If the trucking company or an independent repair facility fixes physical damage from the impact, an accident reconstruction expert might be deprived of important evidence that could be used to interpret fault, causation, or other issues. If faulty brakes or other malfunctioning components or systems are repaired, this can impede the plaintiff’s ability to prove negligent maintenance or vehicle defects.
    • Spoliation of Evidence: Our Mississippi big-rig accident attorneys address the issue of preserving black box data and post-crash damage by sending the commercial carrier a notice regarding spoliation. This letter will inform the commercial carrier that the truck and its black box are the subject of litigation. The notice will warn the trucking company that the evidence must be preserved in an unaltered condition. The letter will also warn that a violation of the notice will result in a motion for sanctions in the form of attorney fees and/or an adverse finding regarding an issue or the evidence at-issue.

    If you or someone you love has been injured in tractor-trailer collision, the compassionate and knowledgeable Mississippi trucking accident lawyers at Porter & Malouf, P.A. are here to help. Call our office today at (601) 957-1173 to schedule your free initial consultation.

     

    Tactics Used by Insurance Companies Handling Mississippi Auto Accident Claims

    If you are injured in an auto accident in Mississippi, the at-fault driver’s insurance company typically will handle the defense of the claim. Insurance companies routinely engage in a range of strategies that are designed to discourage injury victims. The objective of the insurer is to persuade an injury victim to abandon the claim or accept a lowball settlement. Insurance companies rely on a number of strategies that are effective against individuals who do not understand their legal rights and who do not have an experienced Mississippi personal injury attorney advocating for their interests. Said tactics are as follows:

    • Blaming the Injury Victim: Insurance companies routinely blame the plaintiff for causing the accident. This allegation might amount to an attempt to shift blame entirely to the injury victim or to contend that the plaintiff was partially responsible for causing the collision. While the injury victim might allege that he or she was T-boned by the other driver in an intersection, for example, the insurance company might argue that its insured had right of way. Because Mississippi is a “pure comparative negligence” state, the insurance company can reduce the amount of damages paid to an injury victim based on the percentage of fault assigned to the plaintiff. However, the comparative fault of the plaintiff will not bar recovery as long as the defendant is also at-fault.
    • Stalling Settlement to Impose Financial Distress: Insurance adjusters recognize that injury victims face significant financial pressure from mounting medical bills and time off work. Because an injury victim’s mortgage payments, auto payments, and other living expenses do not disappear following a serious car accident, families often experience increasing financial pressure the longer a personal injury claim drags on without resolution. The insurance company facing an unrepresented injury victim might bury a plaintiff in discovery requests and motions to force the plaintiff to settle for less than the value of the claim. The insurance company has deep pockets and increases its profits by keeping the money that would be paid out invested and earning a return. In other words, delay hurts an injury victim while benefiting the insurance company.
    • Reliance on Lack of Knowledge of Deadlines and Procedures: The legal process is governed by many technical evidentiary, procedural and substantive rules and standards. Insurance companies recognize that a party without legal representation has virtually no chance to navigate all of these rules without a critical misstep. Deadlines alone can pose a serious challenge for an unrepresented party. The statute of limitations requires a plaintiff to file a complaint within a certain period to avoid having his or her claim permanently barred. Since there is no “hardship exception” to the statute of limitations, failure to comply with this deadline will usually be a permanent bar to recovery regardless of the merits of the claim.
    • Reliance on Pre-Existing Medical Conditions: When liability of the insurance company’s insured is fairly obvious, the insurer will scour medical records for evidence of a pre-existing condition that might be blamed for any serious long-term disability or chronic pain. The insurance company might ask an injury victim to sign a medical release in an attempt to obtain evidence to dispute whether a serious injury was caused by the accident.

    These are just a few strategies that insurance companies use to reduce the amount they pay when settling a car accident claim. These tactics are much less effective against individuals represented by an experienced Mississippi personal injury attorney who will be familiar with these strategies and appropriate countermeasures. If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto collision, the compassionate and knowledgeable Mississippi auto accident accident lawyers at Porter & Malouf, P.A. are here to help. Call our office today at (601) 957-1173 to schedule your free initial consultation.

    Motorcycle Universal Helmet Laws Make a Difference

    Motorcycle enthusiasts usually have strong feeling about mandatory helmet laws. There are many riders who would never consider firing up their engine without strapping on a helmet. These motorcycle riders often support motorcycle helmet laws as a way to save lives, prevent catastrophic injuries, and reduce public health expenditures for crash-related injuries. Many other motorcyclists find mandatory helmet laws to be an unnecessary intrusion on a rider’s freedom of choice.

    As Mississippi personal injury attorneys who see the devastating impact of traumatic head injuries incurred in motorcycle accidents, our law firm urges riders of all ages to wear a helmet that meets Department of Transportation (DOT) and Snell Foundation standards. While we leave the political and philosophical debate to lawmakers, our Mississippi Motorcycle Accident Lawyers are firm proponents of the theory that the best decisions are those based on as much information as possible. This blog post provides some critical facts about motorcycle helmet safety and the impact of mandatory helmet laws.

    Universal helmet laws, which currently exist in only 19 states and the District of Columbia, have changed dramatically in recent times. Approximately, 28 other states have laws that mandate helmet use for some riders, such as riders under a certain age and/or riders that do not satisfy certain minimum insurance requirements. All states had universal helmet laws in the early 1970s until the federal government ceased tying federal funds for safety programs and highway construction to the existence of mandatory helmet laws. Unlike many other states, Mississippi continues to require all riders to wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle on public roadways.

    There is a wealth of data that demonstrates the potential risks associated with riding a motorcycle without a helmet. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of crash-related motorcycle deaths on a per mile traveled basis is 26 times higher than the number of fatalities in car accidents. Approximately 4,668 people died and another 88,000 were injured in motorcycle accidents in the most recent year for which federal data is available. Serious head injuries are the most common cause of permanent disability and fatalities among motorcycle accident injury victims. The NHTSA reports that wearing a motorcycle helmet reduces the risk of dying in a motorcycle crash by 37 percent and reduces the risk of a traumatic brain injury by 67 percent.

    While there is little dispute that motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of injury or death for riders, some might question whether mandatory helmet laws actually increase helmet usage. A recent federal study suggests that helmet use nearly doubles in states with universal helmet laws compared to all other states. The researchers found that the helmet use rate in universal helmet law jurisdictions was 89 percent whereas the rate was only 48 percent in all other states. Further, increased helmet use in mandatory helmet law states and the effectiveness in helmets in preventing serious head injuries has resulted in improved rider safety. A number of states have reinstated their universal helmet laws since 1989 with the following results:

    • State                Decline in Motorcycle Accident Fatality Rates
    • Oregon:           33 percent
    • Texas:              23 percent
    • California:       37 percent
    • Nebraska:        32 percent
    • Washington:    15 percent
    • Maryland:        20 percent

    Whether you are a supporter of universal helmet laws or not, these statutes seem to be an effective way to improve motorcycle safety. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle crash, the compassionate and knowledgeable Mississippi personal injury lawyers at Porter & Malouf, P.A. are here to help. Call our office today at (601) 957-1173 to schedule your free initial consultation.

    Sources:

     

    Victims Injured in Mississippi Drunk Driving Accidents Need a Personal Injury Attorney

    Alcohol impaired drivers cause approximately 10,000 traffic fatalities and hundreds of thousands of injuries per year despite the tragic reality that these types of accidents are entirely preventable. The emotional, physical, and financial hardships associated with traffic accident-related injuries are significant. However, the challenge of obtaining compensation for your injuries can magnify these adverse consequences. Alcohol impaired drivers predictably are more likely to be unlicensed, uninsured, and reckless. Motorists with driving under the influence (DUI) convictions face higher insurance rates if they can obtain insurance at all. According to the Transportation Research Board, approximately 50-75 percent of drunk driving offenders continue to drive even after their license is suspended, which means that they are also uninsured.

    Since the monetary recovery in most personal injury lawsuit settlements or judgments is obtained from the insurance company of one or more responsible parties, drunk drivers who are disproportionately uninsured are often “judgment proof.” This term is simply a reference to the basic truism that a favorable verdict by a judge or jury might be a hollow victory if an intoxicated driver has no way to pay. Vehicle occupants injured by intoxicated drivers in Mississippi car accidents often discover that recovering financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages can be difficult, even if the other driver was passed out behind the wheel with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is three times the legal limit.

    Our experienced Mississippi Drunk Driving Accident Injury Lawyers represent many people who must overcome the challenge of obtaining financial compensation from a drunk driver who is uninsured. Sometimes, the uninsured driver will own assets like a home with substantial equity or other property against which a judgment can be enforced.

    Given that a significant number of auto accidents caused by intoxicated drivers involve repeat offenders, these habitual drunk drivers typically do not have an abundance of personal assets against which a judgement can be enforced. If an asset search does not reveal that the drunk driver owns real estate or other property, we explore other potential defendants or sources of compensation, which might include the following:

    • Business That Served Alcohol to the Drunk Driver: Mississippi has a “Dram Shop” law that permits someone injured by a drunk driver to sue a business like a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol to a motorist who causes a crash while intoxicated.       The bar can be liable under Mississippi Code Annotated Section 67-3-73 if the business serves alcohol to a customer who is “visibly intoxicated.” In other words, a bar owner cannot bury his head in the sand and escape liability if he continues to serve alcohol to a customer who is, i.e., falling down drunk and slurring his words.
    • Other Motorists: Although the alcohol impaired driver might have been the immediate cause of a crash, multiple drivers often contribute to an accident. Our Mississippi personal injury law firm investigates the potential liability of other motorists that might have played a significant factor in causing a collision.
    • Vehicle Manufacturer: Each year, there are millions of vehicles sold to consumers with significant safety defects. When a vehicle has a defect that contributes to the collision, such as an ignition switch that spontaneously rotates to the off position, the automaker might be liable.
    • City/County/State: If some aspect of the roadway where the accident occurred was negligently designed, constructed, or maintained, this roadway defect might open the door to suing the public entity responsible for the road.
    • Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage of Injury Victim: If the other driver does not have insurance, flees the scene of the accident, or carries insufficient coverage, our law firm might be able to help you obtain compensation from your own UM/UIM coverage. Although many people assume that they do not need a lawyer to pursue a claim against their own auto insurance coverage, insurers increase their profits by underpaying claims.

    If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto collision involving a drunk driver, the compassionate and knowledgeable Mississippi motor vehicle accident lawyers at Porter & Malouf, P.A. are here to help. Call our office today at (601) 957-1173 to schedule your free initial consultation.

    Sources:

    http://www.madd.org/statistics/

    Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys Discuss Crashes Involving Tractor-Trailers

    Any accident that involves a tractor-trailer will typically cause a greater amount of property damage and more severe injuries than a crash involving passenger cars. The size and weight of an 18-wheeler can create the potential for very serious accidents. When a 40-ton tractor-trailer collides with a 3,000 pound economy car, the result can be incredible carnage resulting in catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.

    Accidents involving a large truck can happen at any time, but the risk is highest during the morning and evening commute times when roads are the most crowded. Accidents involving large trucks differ significantly from accidents involving only passenger cars, SUVs, pickups or vans. In a rear impact crash, the vehicle that is struck usually sustains the most damage. If a big-rig rear-ends a passenger car, the occupants of the passenger car often suffer severe injuries that include traumatic brain injuries, loss of limbs, spinal cord damage, severe burns, or damage to vital organs.

    If you or someone that you love has been in an accident involving a tractor-trailer, it is important to understand what happens in the hours and days following this type of vehicle collision. Since large trucks are often owned by a trucking company and covered by a commercial insurance policy, the trucking company will notify its insurer of the accident. Many trucking companies also have the ability to dispatch trucking accident investigators to the crash site within minutes. This means that a team of trucking investigators and insurance defense lawyers might be aligned against you, gathering evidence, and crafting a legal defense strategy before you have even consulted with an experienced Mississippi trucking accident lawyer.

    As a part of their assessment of the accident, the investigators will try to speak to as many of the people who were at or near the scene of the accident as they can. Injury victims should not assume that the investigators are neutral parties since they are employed by the trucking company or its insurer. In other words, these investigators do not have your best interest in mind. You have the right to refuse to speak with the investigators until you have had the opportunity to obtain legal advice about the accident. It is a good idea to contact a Mississippi trucking accident attorney as soon as possible after you are involved in a tractor-trailer collision. Your attorney can provide you with valuable support in dealing with the accident investigators. The attorneys you retain will employ their specialized knowledge regarding commercial insurance policies, trucking industry laws and regulations, strategies for preserving evidence, crash analysis and reconstruction, and motor vehicle liability rules to build a compelling claim for financial compensation.

    The issue of preservation of evidence is fundamental to trucking litigation. Commercial carriers often have their trucks repaired shortly after a crash and return the truck to service. When the truck is quickly returned to its pre-crash condition and put back on the road, critical evidence can be lost. The event data recorder (“black box”) information involving the crash can be erased because the recorders have limited recording space. Further, physical or mechanical repairs can impair the ability of trucking accident reconstruction experts to determine the cause of the semi-truck accident. Our Mississippi trucking accident lawyers often send a notice to the trucking company indicating that the big-rig and its black box are the subject of litigation. This letter will warn the trucking company that failure to preserve this evidence in its post-crash condition will force our law firm to seek sanctions for “spoliation” of evidence. We also seek gas receipts, driver log books, tire invoices, and other documents to construct a compelling claim for damages.

    If you or someone that you love has been injured or died in a Mississippi trucking accident, it is important that you speak with an attorney right away so that your rights can be protected. The knowledgeable and experienced Mississippi tractor-trailer accident lawyers at Porter & Malouf, P.A. might be able to help you. If you have questions, please call our office today at (601) 957-1173 to schedule a free initial consultation.

    Mississippi Car Accident Attorneys Discusses Crash-Related Traumatic Head Injuries

    Traumatic brain injuries, which are one the most common types of injuries suffered in motor vehicle accidents, pose significant physical, financial, and emotional challenges. Recovering from such an injury is often a slow process. Car accident victims might need months or years to regain their full cognitive functions. Unfortunately, some accident victims never fully recover from a brain injury, these victims might require a lifetime of supportive care. As accident victims with brain injuries progress through the healing process, loved ones often become caregivers and indefinitely provide for the victim’s physical and emotional needs.

    Automobile accident cases where the victim has sustained a brain injury are among the most complex types of personal injury cases for a number of reasons. While the legal process generally is too complex for any layperson to navigate when pursuing a car accident claim, brain injuries present special challenges that necessitate legal representation, such as:

    • Delays in Manifesting Symptoms: Many people who suffer head injuries during a car accident experience no significant symptoms in the immediate aftermath of the crash.       While an “open head injury” will be obvious because it involves penetration of the skull, “closed head injuries” might not present any overt signs of injury. An auto accident crash victim that has no symptoms right after the crash can subsequently experience swelling and bleeding that causes growing pressure on the brain. This growing pressure can result in an accident victim quickly deteriorating after a period of feeling fine. A vehicle occupant who suffers ANY head injury in a crash should seek prompt medical attention. Physicians can use special diagnostic tools like CT Scans, MRIs, and related imaging tests to identify the nature of the injury and to take action to improve the patient’s prognosis. Further, these scans and the medical records will provide critical evidence of the extent of injury. A personal injury attorney who has handled brain injury cases can guide you in the proper direction in terms of establishing medical evidence of your injury and related disabilities.
    • Staggering Medical Bills: Another challenge in pursuing a legal claim involving a collision-related brain injury is that the medical bills typically will be hundreds of thousands of dollars. While you might have health insurance to cover these costs, you might face staggering co-payments and other costs that your insurance does not cover.       An experienced Mississippi car accident lawyer often can help you get such expenses covered by arranging for the medical facility or physician to perform services subject to a medical lien. This means that the doctors and medical facilities get paid out of the recovery when the case results in a settlement or trial verdict.
    • Complex Medical Evidence & Experts: When a traffic accident victim suffers severe injury to the brain, the relevant evidence will involve complex medical information and terminology. Medical experts like neurologists might need to testify regarding the nature and extent of your injuries. These experts also can be used to testify to a jury and help explain complex medical evidence in an understandable way. If the brain injury is severe enough that the victim will never fully recover, other experts also might need to be retained. A vocational counselor might need to testify regarding occupational limitations created by the effects of the head injury.       Alternatively, an economic expert might be needed to testify about the financial value of some aspect of the victim’s damages.

    These are just a few of the special obstacles that brain injury victim’s must overcome when pursuing a personal injury claim. Our experienced Mississippi car accident lawyers have experience taking on large insurance companies, so we anticipate their tactics and respond in a way calculated to maximize the recovery we seek for our clients. If you or someone that you love has suffered a brain injury because of an automobile accident, the experienced Mississippi automobile accident attorneys at Porter & Malouf, P.A. are here to represent victims of careless and inattentive drivers. Call our office today at (601) 957-1173 to schedule a free initial consultation.