Kentucky Attorney General Taps Legal Dream Team to Lead Opioid Litigation

The Kentucky Attorney General’s office has selected Morgan & Morgan as part of a legal Dream Team to lead litigation against opioid manufacturers, distributors, dispensers and other groups who allegedly caused or contributed to the opioid crisis in Kentucky.

Morgan & Morgan’s proposal was chosen in an RFP process which called for previous litigation experience against McKesson Corp., the largest prescription drug distributor in the U.S. The firm currently represents 15 counties and cities in West Virginia against McKesson and other pharmaceutical wholesalers.

The litigation team chosen by Attorney General Beshear’s office includes members of Morgan & Morgan’s Government Action Group. Established in 2016, this group provides counsel to government entities in affirmative litigation and investigations. James Young, former Special Counsel to the Florida Attorney General, and Greg Stumbo, former Kentucky Attorney General, lead the Government Action Group.

Dream team of law firms

Joining Morgan & Morgan are attorneys from partnering firms Motley Rice, Lanier Law Firm, and Lexington-based Ransdell, Roach & Royse. This group includes former Washington, D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer, former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice John Roach, and one of the most successful trial attorneys in America, Mark Lanier.

“Along with our dream team of co-counsel and Attorney General Beshear’s staff, we will work tirelessly to identify and hold accountable those companies and individuals who helped create this horrific situation with opioids. Rest assured, there will be a reckoning,” said Attorney James Young.

Attorney Greg Stumbo, former Attorney General and Speaker of Kentucky’s House of Representatives, is also proud to fight on behalf of the Commonwealth.

“We’re grateful to Attorney General Beshear for giving our team the chance to help even the score with the opioid distributors and manufacturers in a court of law,” he said. “We cannot bring back the lives lost nor undo the heartbreak suffered by Kentucky families, but we can bring a measure of justice by exposing those who helped perpetrate this crisis.”

Morgan & Morgan was selected to represent the Commonwealth of Kentucky in part for their previous litigation experience against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

Last year, the firm filed a lawsuit against McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen Drug Co. on behalf of McDowell County, West Virginia—the first lawsuit in the state against the three largest drug distributors. The county’s overdose rate is three times higher than the state of West Virginia, which suffers the most opioid overdoses in the country.

Attorneys Intend to Take Cases to Trial

The team will primarily operate from its Lexington office, where firm founder John Morgan grew up.

“The people of Kentucky need justice to be served for this horrible epidemic, and that’s what Morgan & Morgan is all about,” said John Morgan. “We’ve tried more cases than any other firm, and our attorneys aren’t afraid to stand up to these pharmaceutical companies in front of a jury. They picked a fight with David, but Goliath just showed up.”

“As a former Special Counsel to the Attorney General who worked on the frontlines of pharmaceutical litigation for Florida, I know how challenging it can be to stare down multi-billion dollar companies with legions of lawyers and unlimited resources,” said Attorney Young. “The beauty of Morgan & Morgan’s government practice group is that we level the playing field for Attorney General offices. We have the talent, experience and financial backing to stand toe to toe with these companies without blinking an eye.”

Morgan & Morgan has five offices and 22 attorneys in Kentucky alone. Nationwide, the firm has more than 350 attorneys and a support staff of 2,000 across 40 offices.

Pennsylvania County sues drug companies amid opioid crisis

Delaware County, PA, sued 11 pharmaceutical companies Thursday for marketing tactics that county officials say misrepresent the dangers of long-term opioid usage while a national overdose crisis continues to kill tens of thousands of people annually.

The county alleged in its complaint that the companies and three consulting physicians engaged in promotional campaigns that encouraged prolonged and widespread use of their powerful painkillers, despite knowing that in doing so consumers risked damaging health effects and addiction.

The effort has been extremely profitable for drugmakers, the suit alleged, noting that in 2015 opioid sales earned the industry almost $10 billion. In that same year, more than 33,000 people died from opioid overdoses, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says that nearly half of those deaths involved prescription drugs such as OxyContin or Vicodin.

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How to Take Advantage of Two Everyday Tax-Favored Assets

It is typical for attorneys to have anywhere from 20-50 percent of their net worth tied up in real estate.

By Jason M. O’Dell, MS, CWM and David B. Mandell, JD, MBA.

You likely want to reduce your taxes as much as legally permissible.  While most attorneys, in our experience, consider tax reduction as their #1 or #2 financial concern, few take full advantage of the two commonplace assets that have enjoyed most advantageous tax treatment under our tax code for decades – real estate and permanent life insurance.

In our books and lectures, we discuss the similarity of real estate and cash value life insurance from a tax perspective.  While our tax code may change under a new president, both have enjoyed superior tax treatment over recent decades.

With real estate, you can write off depreciation on business real estate, deduct interest payments on home mortgages within limits, write off local property taxes against your federal taxes, and enjoy up to a $500,000 capital gains exemption on the sale of the primary home (for a married couple filing jointly), among other benefits.  

With permanent life insurance (also called “cash value” insurance), you can enjoy tax-deferred growth of gains within the policy, and if managed correctly, access such value tax-free in retirement.  In addition, policy death benefits generally pay to beneficiaries income tax free and — for those focused on estate planning — you can even structure the death benefits to pay estate tax free within certain types of trusts.  

Further, both asset classes have enjoyed a very powerful tax benefit that few others are afforded: the ability to move from one piece of real estate/life policy to another using a tax-free like-kind exchange.  For real estate, these exchanges are controlled under tax code section 1031; for life insurance, 1035.  

Tax-wise similarities

Interestingly, from an investment and asset class perspective, these two assets are also relatively long term.  You may have heard that, in order not to get burned by having to sell real estate in a down market cycle, you should expect to hold a property at least ten years, as a rule of thumb.  The same time period would also apply well to cash value insurance, as that is around the time where the tax benefits begin to far outweigh the upfront costs.  

Many attorneys have utilized real estate as a significant part of their balance sheet. This is not surprising, as nearly all attorneys own a home and it is often one of the most valuable assets they own.  Further, many attorneys purchase real estate to house their law practices, rather than renting for years on end.  Moreover, some attorneys own second homes, rental properties, and even raw land.  It is typical for attorneys to have anywhere from 20-50 percent of their net worth tied up in real estate.  Over the years, they have taken full advantage of some real estate tax benefits – most notably the interest deductions and property tax write-offs.  Fewer utilized depreciation benefits and, still fewer, the like-kind exchange tax opportunities.

However, relatively few attorneys have taken significant advantage of the tax benefits of cash value insurance — despite their interest in building tax-favored wealth for retirement. This is too bad, as the tax-free growth and access of such an asset class fits well within a long-term “tax diversification” strategy for most high net worth attorneys.  Let’s look at an example of how this can work.

Case Study: Cash Value Insurance

Attorney Andrew is a 45-year-old in good health who wants to invest in either a taxable mutual fund or a cash value insurance policy for his retirement.  Keeping rates of return equal at 6.45 percent annually, Dan wants to see what relative advantages the life policy will produce due to its favorable tax treatment.  

Let’s assume Dan were to invest $25,000 per year for 10 years before retirement and then withdraw funds from ages 65 to 84.  Let’s also assume Dan’s tax rate on investments is 31 percent (50 percent coming from long-term gains and dividends, 50 percent from short-term gains, plus 6 percent state tax).

With these assumptions, if Dan invests in mutual funds on a taxable basis, he will be able to withdraw $28,477 per year after taxes. If he invests in cash value life insurance, he will withdraw $48,343 per year (no taxes on policy withdrawals of basis and loans), and will still have over $525,000 of life insurance death benefit protection. This is a substantial difference based primarily on the tax treatment of the cash value policy.  

Real estate and cash value life insurance are two everyday asset classes that every attorney can leverage in their long-term tax planning.  We encourage you to explore both and see how they may help you achieve your long-term financial goals.

SPECIAL OFFERS:  Please call 877-656-4362 to receive a free hardcopy of Wealth Management Made Simple. Visit www.ojmbookstore.com and enter promotional code NTL02 for a free ebook download for your Kindle or iPad.

David B. Mandell, JD, MBA, is an attorney, consultant and author of more than a dozen books, including Wealth Management Made Simple. He is a principal of the wealth management firm OJM Group www.ojmgroup.com, along with Jason M. O’Dell, MS, CWM, who is also a principal and author. They can be reached at 877-656-4362 or mandell@ojmgroup.com.

 

Thomas Girardi selected as Lawyer of the Decade

Thomas Girardi is the 2016 Past President of The National Trial Lawyers.

Thomas Girardi is the 2016 Past President of The National Trial Lawyers.

The International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) named Thomas Vincent Girardi, attorney and founding partner of Girardi & Keese, as the “Lawyer of the Decade” for 2018 for his outstanding leadership, dedication and commitment to the legal profession.

Girardi will receive the Crystal Tower at the 2017 IAOTP’s Annual Award Gala being held at the Ritz Carlton in Battery Park, New York City.

Mr. Girardi is being recognized as “Lawyer of the Decade” for his 50 years of service as a practicing attorney, his endless list of professional accomplishments, academic achievements, leadership abilities, his dynamic and charismatic personality and his contribution to society.

Stephanie Cirami, President of IAOTP, says that “choosing Mr. Girardi for this award was an easy decision for our panel to make.  He is hands down one of the best trial lawyers of all time and he continues to wow us and the public every step of the way with his career achievements.  There is no one in the world like Tom.  His continued support and generosity have a significant impact on people’s lives and he leaves his mark on whomever or whatever he is involved with.  He is an extraordinary human being and a one of a kind successful, brilliant, gracious, charming man who couldn’t be more deserving of this award. We cannot thank him enough for what he has done for the organization and we are so honored to have him with us.  We cannot wait to spend time with him during his New York stay for the Award Gala.”

30 verdicts of $1 million or more

Thomas Vincent Girardi has certainly proved himself as an accomplished professional and expert litigator who has become a household name.  From being the trial lawyer on the famous Erin Brockovich case to his solid victories against Merck and the Los Angeles Dodgers, Mr. Girardi is regarded by his peers as one of the nation’s top trial lawyers of all time.

He has obtained more than 30 verdicts of $1 million or more and has handled more than 100 settlements of $1 million or more. He has tried more than 100 jury cases, winning the first California medical malpractice verdict of $1 million or more, back in the 1970s and he has had a few billion dollar settlements under his belt.  His areas of practice include wrongful death, commercial litigation, products liability, bad faith insurance and toxic torts.

Mr. Girardi attended Loyola Law School and graduated in 1964.  He then enrolled in a master’s program at NYU receiving his LLM in 1965. In addition to running the firm, he has also been an Associate Professor at Loyola Law School from 1976 to the present and was recipient of the “Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1997 and in 2005 named “Champion of Justice” from the law school.

Throughout his illustrious career, Thomas Vincent Girardi has been active in his community, received numerous awards, accolades and recognized worldwide for his outstanding leadership and commitment to the legal profession.  He has been featured in many publications and magazines and will be featured on the front cover of the First International Edition of TIP (Top Industry Professionals) Magazine which will be out January of 2018 and distributed to the prestigious professionals all around the world. In 2003, he received the prestigious honor of being inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame by the California State Bar.

Mr. Girardi is also the first trial lawyer to be appointed to the California Judicial Council, the policymaking body of the state courts. From 2006 to the present Mr. Girardi is a radio show host called “Champions of Justice” on KRLA 870AM in Southern California, which is a radio show that discusses relevant legal issues facing Americans today.

He has been featured in Lawdragon Magazine, Los Angeles Daily Journal, The National Law Journal, ICE Magazine, Texas Bar Journal, California Law Business, and New Times Los Angeles, just to name a few. Mr. Girardi is a Member of the Board of Directors and former President of the prestigious International Academy of Trial Lawyers, an invitation-only worldwide organization, limited to 500 trial lawyers.  He is President of the Litigation Counsel of America, member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, American Board of Professional Liability Lawyers, Consumer Attorneys of California, and the International Society of Barristers.

He has an AV preeminent rating with Martindale Hubble and has been selected as “Top Attorney of the Year,” “Top Attorney of the Month,” “SuperLawyers”, “Best Lawyers in America,” “Top 100 Lawyers in California,” “Trial Lawyer of the Year” with many organizations for multiple years in a row.  For 2017 he was named Man of the Year and was also presented the “Citizen of the Year Award” by the International Association of Top Professionals where he was featured on the Thomas Reuters Building in Times Square numerous times throughout the year.

The International Association of Top Professionals are working on a film documentary on Mr. Girardi and have started filming and hope to have the documentary completed and released by this December.

For more information please visit: http://www.thomasvgirardi.com

Watch his video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MA-kbMkPSw

Consumers File Class Action Lawsuit Against Equifax in Security Breach

Chicago law firm Corboy & Demetrio filed a federal class-action lawsuit on behalf of Scott Meyers, Judy Meyers, Karl Gordon Eikost, and consumers nationwide whose sensitive personal data was collected and stored by Equifax on servers that were hacked in a massive security breach discovered on July 29, 2017.

The lawsuit was filed on Sept. 14, 2017 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by attorneys Thomas A. Demetrio and Kenneth T. Lumb. The firm has been involved in several recent high-profile cases, including representing airline passenger Dr. David Dao and more than 100 former NFL and NHL players in concussion litigation against both Leagues.

The lawsuit accuses Equifax of failing to have reasonable procedures to protect the plaintiffs’ and class members’ private information and failing to timely notify or warn them of the breach. Several Equifax executives sold stock valued at $1.8 million in the days before the breach was made public in media reports.

“The scope and breadth of the breach is really massive and the failure to prevent it simply inexcusable,” Lumb said.

In addition, the lawsuit accuses Equifax of attempting to induce consumers to sign a waiver and arbitration agreement by falsely representing it was offering a complimentary one-year enrollment of its TrustedID Premier product for affected persons.

“The offer was a deceptive, coercive and an unconscionable effort to trick customers to get them to give up important rights and remedies,” Lumb said.

Plaintiffs have filed more than 70 class actions over the massive data breach. This week, lawyers filed motions before the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to have all the cases transferred to Georgia. Many of the class actions brought over the data breach have focused on the Fair Credit Reporting Act specifically, that Equifax failed to protect customer data and furnished sensitive information to third parties in violation of the statute.

The hacked information includes names, full Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver’s license numbers and possibly one or more of their credit card numbers.

The Chicago case is Scott Meyers, Judy Meyers and Karl Gordon Eikost, Individually and on behalf of those similarly situated v. Equifax Info. Services, LLC, 1:17-cv-06652.

Corboy & Demetrio is one of the nation’s premier law firms. It represents individuals and their families in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases and is renowned for its achievements in the courtroom and for its contributions to the community.

4 Lifestyle Shifts to Make You a More Effective, Healthy Litigator

7-8 hours of quality sleep makes litigators effective on a daily basis.

By Larry Greene.

No matter how much you want to make healthy choices, it often feels like there simply isn’t enough time. When heading out for work, it’s much easier to grab a pre-packaged granola bar than whip up some oatmeal from scratch.

You may also find yourself sacrificing the gym to complete an extra hour of work. What many business professionals don’t realize is that there is a way to be both the busiest and the healthiest version of you. No, it doesn’t mean you’ll only get three hours sleep! You can start by adding these four easy and healthy habits into your schedule.

Sleep 7-8 hours per day

Not just sleep but quality sleep is extremely important to your ability to function on a daily basis. Good sleep improves memory, increases lifespan, and reduces inflammation that can lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. When you’re working out regularly, sleep is where your body recovers and gets stronger. Whether your goal is weight loss, muscle gain, a longer life, or overall health – you are drastically inhibiting your progress by not sleeping well.

Do you feel like you don’t have enough time to sleep well? Maybe at the end of the night you decide to get one extra hour of work in instead of an extra hour of sleep. Consider this – the tasks you accomplish in that extra hour of work are far less efficient and you are far less productive the next day than if you’d gotten an extra hour of quality sleep. Whatever tasks you’re staying up late to complete can likely be done first thing in the morning after a good night’s rest with much better efficiency!  

If you constantly wake up tired, or if you grind your teeth or snore at night, the quality of your sleep is most likely impaired.  Quantity vs quality of sleep must be considered.

Make 3-ingredient meals

Effective litigators avoid “white foods” like like bread, white rice, flour, pasta, crackers, and sugar.

Peanut butter, jelly, and whole-wheat bread. Tofu, veggies, and rice. Hummus, veggies, and crackers. There’s an entire world of easy and delicious meals that you can make with just three ingredients.

These meals require minimum grocery shopping and even less prep-work! Eating these balanced meals frequently throughout the day will increase your energy levels and keep you from the vicious cycle of crashing and then overeating.

Walk it out

Many jobs these days require sitting in front of a computer screen for hours on end. Add your 8+ hour work shift at the desk to the time you spend driving, traveling, even just sitting down for dinner. Many professionals admit to spending 10-12 hours per day sitting in a chair. To combat sitting down for the better half of your day, take a break to walk and stretch regularly. Better yet, park further away from work and walk!

Areas to focus on for stretching include quadricep muscles on the top front of your leg, hips, pectoral chest muscles, and latissimus upper-back muscles.  All of them are directly affected by all that sitting and lead to back pain, poor posture, and overall dysfunction in movement patterns.

Eliminate white food

Things like bread, white rice, flour, pasta, crackers, and sugar are just a few examples of “white foods.” But white goes beyond their color, the white signifies that they are largely processed and refined foods made up of chemicals and preservatives. The body doesn’t recognize these substances as food it can use as fuel.

In addition, sugar exists (and is often hidden) in most processed foods. Sugar is a scientifically addictive substance to the brain and activates the same brain centers as heroin. Think about how well you’d perform at work if you showed up each morning on heroin. Being addicted to sugar has long term health consequences, sabotages weight loss efforts, and will decrease energy levels on a daily basis.  Reduced energy translates into diminished cognitive function, reduced creativity, and general malaise.

Increase your effectiveness and productivity by adopting these four lifestyle shifts. You will feel better, look better, and be more powerful in everything you do.  Eating is to fuel your body.  Movement adds strength and mobility to your body.  Good quality sleep repairs and restores your body.  In turn, your body will work for you and allow you to become a more effective, healthier litigator.


Larry Greene is a certified personal trainer with over 14 years experience. He can be reached at Genesis Performance & Fitness in Thousand Oaks, CA.

Mass Torts: Study Doubts the Value of Abilify for Depression

In a report published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers at the Veterans Affairs found that the benefits of the antidepressant add-on drug Abilify were minor.

Meanwhile, the FDA has received 164 reports of pathological gambling caused by Abilify from November 2002 through January 2016.

Since October 2016, 234 mass tort lawsuits have been consolidated before Chief US District Judge M. Casey Rodgers in the Northern District of Florida, in MDL 2734, IN RE: Abilify (Aripiprazole) Products Liability Litigation. They charge that Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals Bristol-Myers Squibb knew about the side effect but failed to warn consumers, downplaying risks to protect billions in sales.

Question the use of Abilify

The researchers questioned the use of Abilify for depression: “Given the small effect size and adverse effects associated with aripiprazole, further analysis including cost-effectiveness is needed to understand the net utility of this approach.”

In a 12-week follow-up of a randomized clinical trial of 1,522 patients with major depressive disorder (85% men) unresponsive to previous antidepressant treatment, only 29% achieved remission after adding Abilify with their antidepressant.

It was not until the FDA ordered stronger labels in May 2016 that American patients and doctors were finally warned about uncontrollable urges to gamble, eat, shop, or have sex.

Europe required BMS and Otsuka to add a warning label about “pathological gambling” from Abilify in November 2012, as well as recommending caution in patients with a history of gambling addiction.

Abilify is one of the top-selling medications in the U.S., with sales of more than $6 billion per year. It is an antipsychotic drug that the FDA approved in 2002 for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorders. Today, Abilify is widely used “off-label” to treat irritability, aggression, and mood swings.

Child Sues Chicago Board of Education over 5 Years of Sexual Abuse by Employee

Chicago plaintiff attorney Lyndsay A. Markley

Chicago plaintiff attorney Lyndsay A. Markley is an NTL Top 100 Trial Attorney.

A former elementary school student filed suit against the Chicago Board of Education, claiming he suffered years of sexual abuse by an employee who organized school sponsored programs for students.

According to the complaint filed by Chicago attorney Lyndsay Markley, the CBE knew that the accused perpetrator, Marvin Lovett, was not fit to work with children, but continued to employ him despite receiving warnings that Lovett was acting inappropriately towards male minors.

“We believe that the evidence in this case will show that the CBE allowed a predator to walk the halls of an elementary school for years preying upon innocent children.  My client deserves to be compensated for the horrific abuse he suffered at the hands of a CBE employee.  All children deserve to be safe. The CBE must be held accountable and take action to ensure that this tragedy is not repeated,” Markley says.

The case is John D. Doe v. Board of Education, No 2017L008977, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. The boy was abused from 1988 through 1993 while attending James Weldon Elementary School in Chicago’s North Lawndale Community.

20th victim

This is the 20th victim to come forward with an allegation of sexual abuse with against Lovett and the first plaintiff in a lawsuit only against the BOE. The other 19 plaintiffs claim that they were abused during Lovett’s employment with the United Airlines Believers Program in a lawsuit filed against United Airlines, Inc., the BOE, and I Have A Dream Chicago, Inc.

Sylvester Jamison shot Lovett to death in his apartment in 2000. Jamison, then aged 17, told police that Lovett had sexually abused for years. During the police investigation, 140 video tapes were found in Lovett’s apartment depicting sexual acts involving African-American male minors.

Markley represents a number of other plaintiffs with allegations of sexual abuse against Lovett during his time as an agent of the BOE and intends to file these over the next several months.

“All parents deserve to feel safe entrusting their children to Chicago Public Schools for an education.  All children can, and should, be safe attending school. This case is a parent’s worst nightmare: sexual abuse of their child by a man the Chicago Board of Education empowered,” Markley says.

Lyndsay Markley is an NTL Top 100 Trial Attorney. She has dedicated her legal practice to fighting on behalf of persons who suffered injuries or death as the result of the wrongful or careless conduct of others.

Philadelphia Jury Awards $57.1 Million in Ethicon Pelvic Mesh Verdict

Mesh manufacturer knowingly continued use of resin dangerous to human bodies.

A jury in Philadelphia awarded more than $57 million to a woman who was internally scarred and left incontinent by a defective Ethicon pelvic mesh implant made by Johnson & Johnson. The award, the largest so far in several recent mesh injury trials in the state, includes $50 million in punitive damages.

The jury found in favor of plaintiff Ella Ebaugh, determining that two of Ethicon’s mesh devices had caused internal mutilations permanently impairing her urinary system. The case is In Re: Pelvic Mesh Litigation, Case No. 140200829.

Attorneys in the case said the verdict sends a message to J&J and Ethicon about the impropriety of their conduct surrounding the design and marketing of the dangerous surgical mesh devices. Of the two mesh devices that were the subject of the lawsuit, one has been recalled but the other, Ethicon’s TVT product, remains on the market even as substantial numbers of mesh injury lawsuits continue to move through the courts.

29,905 federal lawsuits

In separate litigation, Ethicon faces 29,905 federal lawsuits consolidated before US District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin in MDL 2327, IN RE: Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation.

The previous highest-result mesh injury case from the series ongoing in Pennsylvania was $20 million. Ethicon has stated it intends to appeal the jury’s decision in Ms. Ebaugh’s case.

The previous highest-result mesh injury case from the series ongoing in the Philadelphia  Court of Common Pleas was $20 million. Some 130 pelvic mesh lawsuits are pending there in a mass tort program. Ethicon has stated it intends to appeal the jury’s decision in Ms. Ebaugh’s case.

Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson have prevailed in a single Pennsylvania pelvic mesh trial.  Four Philadelphia juries have awarded Ethicon plaintiffs $12.5 million, $13.6 million, 17.5 million, and $20 million in damages.

Misleading Regulators, Monsanto Secretly Wrote Bogus Reports Calling Roundup Safe

When the Environmental Protection Agency declared that Roundup weed killer was safe for humans, it relied on scientific reports that were secretly ghostwritten by Monsanto employees, according to company emails.

The emails were released by plaintiff attorneys suing Monsanto on behalf of farmers who claim they got cancer of the lymph nodes from working with Roundup, which contains the herbicide glyphosate.

The bogus “reports” were designed to rebut The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) finding in March 2015 that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

Monsanto was also working with a corrupt EPA official, who bragged to Monsanto that he deserved a medal if he could kill an investigation of whether the company’s Roundup herbicide causes cancer.

A total of 220 mass tort lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto in Roundup Products Liability Litigation before US District Judge Vince Chhabria in MDL 2741 in the Northern District of California.

Dupe the scientific journal

Dozens of internal Monsanto emails, released on Aug. 1 by plaintiffs’ lawyers from Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman of Los Angeles, reveal how Monsanto worked with a consulting firm to dupe the scientific journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology to publish a supposedly “independent” review of Roundup’s effect on health. The review was published along with four subpapers in September 2016.

According to a Bloomberg report, the emails show that Monsanto’s chief of regulatory science, William Heydens, and other Monsanto scientists were heavily involved in reviewing and editing drafts submitted by the outside experts.

Other emails show that Monsanto’s lead toxicologist, Donna Farmer, who was a co-author of a 2011 study on glyphosate’s reproductive effects, made substantial changes and additions to the paper behind the scenes.

The paper’s Acknowledgment and Declaration of Interest falsely stated that Monsanto did not participate in editing the report, despite the editor’s insistence that the authors make clear how they were hired.