2021 will be remembered as a historical year, largely due to the continued devastation wrought by the Coronavirus Pandemic. Nevertheless, there were other considerable stories, especially in the realm of civil justice. Those stories comprise our top-10 list for 2021.
Legal Inspector’s yearly collection of the 10 most important civil cases of 2021, was developed by Virginia Beach, VA attorney-author Richard N. (Rick) Shapiro and his research assistants. This year-end collection has actually become a tradition and has actually been supplied by Rick and his team for Legal Inspector yearly given that 2012.
No. 10– New Low for Former President Trump’s “Cracken” Legal Group of Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and Others
Why It Made the List: The civil lawsuits brought by Rule Ballot Systems against members of the so-called “Cracken” legal team– consisting of Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell– highlights the reality that attorneys can not spout non-sense and make absurd, unwarranted claims of fraud on tv and absolutely not in a court of law.
No. 9 -Rule Voting Systems May Own a Pillow Business Quickly
Why It Made the List: This story is notable since it highlights the fact that non-attorneys also have an obligation not to make incorrect, over-the-top claims versus another private or organization without any proof whatsoever. This appears to be a “Defamation 101” claim submitted by Dominion Ballot Systems versus Mike Lindell (largely referred to as the “My Pillow Guy”) stemming from his baseless allegations that voting makers produced by Rule were somehow controlled to change the outcome of the 2020 election, including possible “hacking” or espionage by the Chinese federal government, the Russian government, and the Keebler elves that make those tasty chocolate cookies. That third one is totally made up, just like Lindell’s allegations against Rule.
No. 8– DC Federal Government Pursues White Supremacist Groups in Civil Suit Seeking Millions in Damages for January 6 Insurrection
Why It Made the List: This is an essential story because it supplies a pointer that the criminal justice system is not the only avenue we have to hold individuals and organizations liable for misdeeds. When the Chief law officer for the District of Columbia filed a civil match against dozens of members of the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and other groups, it sent a clear message that members of these white supremacist organizations will be delegated the trauma and damage they caused on January 6 versus our country, and democracy itself.
No. 7–$475 Million Settlement in the Works to Compensate Victims of the Longest Running Oil Spill in U.S. History
Why It Made the List: The proposed settlement of nearly half a billion dollars has actually been described as a vital “deposit” made by a New Orleans-based oil business to help attend to the serious effects coming from the longest-running oil spill in American history. The proposed settlement consists of a $432 million cleanup trust fund, together with an extra $43 million that would be used to settlement a federal claim over tidying up deserted wells dripping because 2004.
No. 6– Capitol Authorities Officers File Civil Liberty Lawsuit In Effort to Hold Former President Trump Accountable for January 6 Insurrection
Why It Made the List: This story highlights the early stages of a civil liberties claim that could become one of the most essential stories of 2022, if Capitol Police Officers remain in truth able to hold former President Trump, in his individual capacity, accountable for the awful events that took place at the Capitol on January 6.
No. 5– Kid Scouts of America proposes $800 million settlement to compensate sex abuse victims
Why It Made the List: Neglecting reports of abuse in the hopes that they merely go away is never ever appropriate and any company that is indifferent to the sexual attack of minors should be held accountable.
The Kid Scouts of America revealed a tentative settlement contract to pay $800 million toward a payment fund established for survivors of sex abuse inflicted by scout leaders when they were kids. This massive settlement agreements comes on the heels of the Kid Scouts of America company filing for personal bankruptcy due to countless civil suits submitted against it by former members who declared various occurrences of abuse that happened throughout decades. It is heartening to see the civil justice system assistance hold a company liable, particularly when that company appears to have actually overlooked repeated reports of troubling abuse and sexual assaults committed by scout leaders against young boys.
No. 4– Coronavirus Pandemic Ushers in Technological Development to Civil Litigation
Why It Made the List: In 2021, state and federal courts throughout the country performed countless hearings, depositions, settlement conferences, and even trials almost totally over Zoom and other digital conference platforms. The shift to “totally digital lawsuits” is a by-product of the COVID-19 pandemic and the acknowledged risk of having groups of individuals sit in a confined area for hours on end breathing in recycled air. The welcome of Zoom and other platforms has actually also offered performance gains for some judges. This is likely why, in July 2021, the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators jointly endorsed a set of “Guiding Principles for Post-pandemic Court Technology.” The freshly issued set of assisting principles suggested judges move “as lots of court processes as possible online,” and keep them there for the foreseeable future. This could very well mean Zoom-based litigation procedures become the standard with in-person conferences, hearings, depoisitions, and so on going the method of Smash hit.
Sources: https://iaals.du.edu/blog/back-future-civil-case-management && https://judicature.duke.edu/articles/the-zooming-of-federal-civil-litigation/
No. 3– $626 Million Settlement To Be Paid to Flint Water Crisis Victims
Why It Made the List: This seems the biggest settlement in Michigan history with the funds being directed towards compensating more than 85,000 Flint homeowners negatively impacted by the water crisis. In truth, almost 80 percent of the settlement is expected to be paid to children who were younger than 18 when they were first exposed to Flint River water, which consisted of elevated levels of lead and germs in 2014 and 2015.
No. 2– Downfall of Purdue Pharma and the Sackler Dynasty
Why It Made the List: The pharmaceutical company mostly responsible for fueling the national opioid pandemic is finally being held responsible for the unknown damage inflicted by its products. To be clear, Purdue Pharma is officially no more. In addition, the Sackler family (i.e. the household that established Purdue) has consented to pay $4.5 billion in damages to settle tens of countless opioid claims versus the company. In a recent advancement, the settlement agreement was declined due to the fact that the resistance managed to members of the Sackler household was too generous. This might very well indicate the Sackler family could possibly be held liable for sustaining the opioid epidemic.
Sources: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/01/health/purdue-sacklers-opioids-settlement.html & https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/why-a-judge-rejected-a-settlement-with-the-sackler-family-for-their-role-in-opioid-crisis
The Top Civil Justice Story of 2021
The Reckoning of Johnson & & Johnson Why It
‘s on the List: The numeration of Johnson & & Johnson, a corporate leviathan that stopped working to notify consumers about the possible health dangers of its talc-based products, is probably one of the greatest civil justice stories in contemporary history. The 135-year-old business was besieged by countless civil suits submitted on behalf of women who were detected with ovarian cancer that was connected to utilizing J&J’s talcum powder and related products. After a series of massive jury verdicts that directed J&J to pay numerous millions of dollars in damages to consumers, the company chose to break apart into 2 business entities, a customer products company and a medical business. If that was not unexpected enough, the company proceeded to utilize one of its new corporate entities to handle a majority of the liabilities from the talcum baby powder lawsuits and instantly file for insolvency defense. This choice right away drew the ire of members of Congress and the legal neighborhood. The backlash was so extreme that it may have affected the choice by a federal insolvency judge to issue just a short-lived, 60-day moratorium on the talc powder lawsuits submitted versus J&J. Lots of people, consisting of members of the J&J legal defense group, were anticipating a much longer remain order to be provided to postpone any large payouts to victims. The quick 60-day stay on litigation is another indication that the J&J’s day of reckoning has arrived.
Sources:https://www.npr.org/2021/11/10/1054432222/johnson-n-johnson-baby-powder-cancer-lawsuits && https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/12/business/johnson-johnson-split.html