Message to P/C Insurers: The Scientific Revolution is Here

Posted by on November 22, 2018

This article was co-written with William Wilt, President of Assured Research, a research and advisory firm dedicated to delivering highly customized, actionable research and analysis to insurance and investment professionals. It was adapted from their November 2018 briefing. In their February 2018 Assured Briefing warned: “Insurers need to get on board with the scientific revolution or risk being run
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New Evidence Of Genetic Drivers For Mesothelioma In Persons With No Known Asbestos Exposure

Posted by on November 15, 2018

A recently published article authored by Drs. Michele Carbone, Haining Yang, and Harvey Pass (among others) is relevant to asbestos and talc defendants because it provides additional data supporting the conclusion that inherited genetic variations cause mesothelioma in some persons without any known exposure to asbestos. Most notably for asbestos and talc litigants, 57 out of the
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New Paper Explores Heritable Genetic Factors Related To Mesothelioma

Posted by on October 11, 2018

A new paper by Kharazmi and colleagues present important data regarding the heritable nature of mesothelioma using epidemiological techniques to analyze the population-based Swedish Cancer Registry. The results, reported in the European Journal of Cancer, are important because the findings confirm that both genes and exposures are relevant, and on their face, appear helpful to
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Advances in Interpreting Findings from BRCA1 Mutations

Posted by on September 20, 2018

An interesting new paper about the BRCA1 gene was published in the journal Nature last week (see here for a summary of the findings). The article is notable because it appears to offer some intriguing possibilities for relatively rapidly bringing even better genomic knowledge into cancer cases. In short, the article is focused on using
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Courtroom Implications of New Paper On Germline (Inherited) Mutations Associated with Mesotheliomas (and Perhaps Ovarian Cancers)

Posted by on September 17, 2018

This is our second comment on a very recent paper (Panou 2018) reporting findings from a study looking for germline (inherited) variants (mutations) in persons afflicted by mesotheliomas. The paper reported results from a custom gene panel analysis of 195 genes associated with cancers to study a cohort of 198 persons, mainly persons who were
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Two Recent Toxic Tort Verdicts (Totaling Nearly $5 Billion) Demonstrate the Importance of Genomics in the Courtroom

Posted by on September 10, 2018

As many of our readers know, there have been two recent, large toxic tort verdicts:  (1) $4.6 billion talc verdict against J&J (22 ovarian cancer cases); and (2) $300 million glyphosate verdict against Monsanto. In both cases, the role of genomics has been oversimplified by the plaintiffs. Specifically, some plaintiff counsel have argued that individual
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New Paper Identifies Several New Inherited Genetic Mutations in Mesothelioma Patients, Creating New Opportunities and Risks for Litigants

Posted by on September 6, 2018

Some scientific findings provide both opportunities and risks for litigants in mass tort cases. The point is highlighted by a new paper by Panou and colleagues published in mid- August in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The paper concludes that a significant proportion of patients with malignant mesotheliomas carry inherited (germline) mutations in cancer-associated genes,
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No Ginger in Ginger Ale – “Nuisance Litigation” Against Food Manufacturers Continues to Rise

Posted by on August 28, 2018

On July 10, 2018, a federal lawsuit was filed contending that Canada Dry and its parent company Dr. Pepper Snapple, Inc. misled customers by falsely advertising “Made from Real Ginger”. This suit is the latest among several brought against the company asserting that customers believed Canada Dry Ginger Ale to have health benefits because it
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New Jersey Adopts Stricter Standards for Admissibility of Expert Testimony

Posted by on August 14, 2018

On August 1, 2018, the New Jersey State Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision when they unanimously voted to adopt stricter standards for expert testimony, affirming the court’s role as the “gatekeeper of scientific evidence”. Expert Testimony Properly Excluded The court’s ruling is a direct result of ongoing litigation surrounding claims that the prescription
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Massive Talc Verdicts Will Encourage More Investment in the Litigation Industry Related to Asbestos

Posted by and on August 1, 2018

In September, 2016 the firms of LSP Group, Innovative Science Solutions, and Assured Research collaborated to produce our second, in-depth and multidisciplinary analysis of the changes to and new directions in asbestos litigation. Our work included detailed thoughts on the scientific and legal developments, such as risks of more claims involving asbestos and cancers other
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