Tobacco, Talc Powder, Herbicides and Opioids - CVN’s Current & Upcoming Mass Tort/Products Liability Trial Coverage

Posted by David Siegel on May 13, 2021 11:37:19 AM

Trials Collage Blog Image

Throughout the pandemic shutdown, attorneys predicted a dramatic uptick in trial activity once courts began reopening, with a backlog of delayed cases prompting a blitz of initial trials.

Those predictions proved true, and after months of sporadic live trial coverage, Courtroom View Network is once again webcasting gavel-to-gavel coverage of civil trial proceedings throughout the country to the legal, academic and business communities.

Among the initial trials CVN is covering (or plans to cover) as courts reopen are a number of significant mass tort/products liability cases. With travel challenges and courtroom capacity restrictions still a reality, a CVN subscription is more valuable than ever for firsthand access to these important trial proceedings.

Here’s a look at what we’re currently covering, and plan to cover in the coming weeks…

Bellwether trial over Syngenta’s paraquat herbicide in Illinois state court

A highly-anticipated trial over the alleged risk of Parkinson’s disease supposedly associated with exposure to the herbicide paraquat begins June 1 in Illinois state court, and the proceedings will be webcast gavel-to-gavel by CVN.

The case had been scheduled for trial on May 10, but the judge, who will preside over the trial without a jury, issued a last-minute continuance over the weekend.

The trial marks the first time trial testimony will take place in open court over claims that paraquat supposedly causes Parkinson’s disease.

Bellwether Zoom trial in $50 billion California opioid litigation

Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Endo International and AbbVie face accusations in a civil lawsuit filed by Santa Clara, Los Angeles and Orange Counties and the City of Oakland that they aggressively marketed opioid-based painkillers while downplaying the risk of addiction. The lawsuit seeks $50 billion in damages.

CVN is providing near real-time access to the proceedings on a 30-minute delay, in addition to making the full video from each day available on a rolling on-demand basis.

The trial, which began in April, is expected to take months to complete, though the presiding judge recently expressed his frustration to the parties over the current sluggish pace of the trial.

In-Person “Engle Progeny” tobacco trial in Florida state court

Prior to the shutdown, Florida regularly saw between roughly 3-5 “Engle progeny” tobacco cases go to trial each month throughout the state, and CVN regularly streamed and recorded the proceedings.

Now these thousands of cases, which stem from the decertification of a massive class action against the tobacco companies, are once again beginning to go to trial.

Next week’s trial in Quincy, Florida marks CVN’s first coverage of an in-person Engle trial since last year.

Virtual trial in Seattle Johnson & Johnson cosmetic talc case

Seattle is arguably the leading jurisdiction in the country right now for holding civil trials via Zoom. This has permitted them to take large, complex cases like mass tort/product liability actions to trial even amidst pandemic restrictions.

This includes an ongoing trial involving claims that asbestos allegedly present in Johnson & Johnson’s cosmetic talc products caused a woman’s fatal cancer, and audio of the proceedings is being webcast gavel-to-gavel by Courtroom View Network.

Do you know about any upcoming state court trials CVN should consider covering? Please get in touch and let us know.

E-mail David Siegel at


Topics: Products Liability, Mass Torts