Johnson & Johnson Recalls Baby Powder Containing Asbestos

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Consumer healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) recently recalled 33,000 bottles of its popular baby powder after tests by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found traces of asbestos (Johnson & Johnson Recalls Baby Powder Over Asbestos Worry). The recall represents the first time J&J has removed any of its baby powder products from the marketplace despite decades of concerns that talc causes cancer.  

The FDA’s findings could have an enormous impact on the more than 15,000 lawsuits that have been filed against J&J alleging the development of cancer, including mesothelioma and ovarian cancer, from the use of baby powder and other talc-based products. “I can’t imagine an attorney for Johnson & Johnson standing up in front of a jury now and saying with a straight face that the product is safe,” said Rutgers University law professor David Noll.

Plaintiffs in talc lawsuits have contended for years that J&J failed to warn its baby powder customers of possible asbestos contamination, despite longtime knowledge of the risks. Last year the New York Times uncovered internal memos and reports proving that J&J executives have suspected asbestos contamination in talc for over 50 years.

Nevertheless, J&J continued its longstanding denial of any dangers presented by its products, releasing a statement that “thousands of tests over the past 40 years repeatedly confirm that our consumer talc products do not contain asbestos.” Spokeswoman Gloria Sánchez-Contreras responded that “the F.D.A. stands by the quality of its testing and results” and recommended that consumers stop using baby powder from the tainted lot immediately. 

J&J attempted to calm fears about the dangers posed by its talc products by stressing that the asbestos detected was a small percentage of the sample, but United States health agencies have found no known safe level of exposure to asbestos. As one would expect, health risks are indeed greater with increased exposure to asbestos, but the National Cancer Institute has discovered diseases in people with only extremely brief exposures.

The FDA’s discovery of asbestos in baby powder products currently offered for sale to consumers only makes the case stronger for those who have developed cancer from exposure to J&J’s products.

If you have mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, or another form of cancer and have been exposed to products containing talc, please call Davis, Bethune & Jones at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will ensure that your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve.

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Related Articles:

Johnson & Johnson Settles Talc Case for $2 Million


NJ Appeals Court Reverses $117M Talc Verdict

Emails Show J&J’s Influence on Talc Safety Report


Have you developed cancer after using Roundup weed killer?

Take action today. Call 1-800-875-5972 or fill out our quick form below.

Roundup, the weed and grass killer produced by agricultural giant Monsanto, is one of the most commonly used herbicides in the world. You’ve probably used it yourself to maintain your lawn, garden, or driveway. It obviously kills weeds, but surely a bottle of Roundup wouldn’t be stored on a shelf in the majority of garages in the country if it posed a danger to humans.

Well, actually, maybe it would.

Nearly 20,000 cases have been filed in the United States on behalf of individual victims who have suffered significant exposure to Roundup, causing a wide range of disease and illness. In particular, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has declared glyphosate, Roundup’s main ingredient, a probable carcinogen. In addition, a recent study found that glyphosate exposure significantly increased the risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Despite evidence of the link between Roundup and cancer, Monsanto has not only failed to warn the public, but has also repeatedly claimed that Roundup is safer than table salt. The juries in several recent trials have vehemently disagreed, awarding victims damages of $289 million, $80 million, and $2 billion.

Recent reports have indicated that Bayer, Monsanto’s parent company, has offered $8 billion to resolve all Roundup litigation. Although Monsanto’s lawyers have denied that an offer is on the table, the huge verdicts returned in the lawsuits thus far make it increasingly likely that these cases will be settled, so it is essential that you act now if you think your cancer may have been caused by Roundup.

If you have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or another form of cancer and have been exposed to Roundup, please call Davis, Bethune & Jones at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will ensure that your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve.


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Wrongful Death

When someone is killed as a result of negligence or intentional conduct, there may be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death suits are brought against the person or company that caused the death by the surviving family of the deceased, including parents, children, and brothers or sisters.

Examples of wrongful deaths include a person killed by a drunk driver, a passenger killed in an airplane crash, and a child who dies as a result of an unsafe toy. The common thread among wrongful death cases is that the victims’ lives end due to the negligence of another party.

In addition to the emotional trauma caused by the untimely death of a loved one, the surviving family is left to cope with numerous financial burdens.  Davis, Bethune & Jones has represented many families who have lost loved ones and allow the family the room to heal while we protect your legal rights.

At Davis, Bethune & Jones, we have helped many families receive compensation for their losses as a result of a wrongful death. Call 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation with one of our experienced Kansas City wrongful death attorneys.

Wrong Side/Wrong Procedure

Medical errors involving patients who have had surgery on the wrong body part, undergone the incorrect procedure, or received an operation intended for another patient are almost impossible to imagine. Indeed, “wrong-side, wrong-procedure, wrong-patient errors” (WSPE’s) are known as “never events” – medical mistakes that should never occur under any circumstances and signal serious underlying safety problems.

Although WSPE’s are relatively rare, they do happen. In fact, they are common enough that the Joint Commission developed a mandatory quality standard called the Universal Protocol that applies to all accredited hospitals, ambulatory care, and office-based surgery facilities. The Universal Protocol – designed to ensure correct patient identity, correct scheduled procedure, and correct surgical site – consists of the following:

  • Pre-procedure verification process
  • Surgical site marking
  • Surgical “time out” immediately prior to starting the procedure to correctly identify the patient, the procedure and the correct location including the correct side

Unfortunately, WSPE’s still occur. Errors can happen before the patient reaches the operating room, a timeout may be rushed or ineffective, and errors may occur during the procedure itself.

If you have been the victim of a WSPE, contact DBJ at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation. Our experienced legal team will retain the best medical experts and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for an event that “never” should have happened.

In one recent case, DBJ secured a $20 million verdict for the family of a 15-year-old boy whose doctor operated on the wrong side of his brain. In addition to the doctor who performed the operation, the jury also found Arkansas Children’s Hospital negligent for the surgery. The hospital’s nurses were not adequately prepared and administrators did not thoroughly investigate the surgical errors and promptly disclose them to the family. The jury’s award compensated the patient for his pain and suffering, future earnings, and the expenses for lifetime treatment.

Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a sudden trauma, usually a violent blow to the head or body, causes damage to the brain. Approximately 2.5 million people in the United States suffer traumatic brain injuries every year, including 50,000 deaths.

Causes of traumatic brain injuries include:

  • motor vehicle accidents
  • medical negligence
  • train collisions
  • electrical injuries
  • assault
  • gas explosions
  • trucking accidents

Survivors of traumatic brain injuries may suffer from minor symptoms over a period of only a few days or endure severe disabilities for the rest of their lives. They may experience reduced functional mobility, impaired speech or memory, loss of reasoning ability, or emotional issues. Traumatic brain injuries can also cause epilepsy and increase the risk of brain disorders that affect people later in life, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Because it is not uncommon for traumatic brain injury symptoms to manifest themselves months or even years after the traumatic event, it is essential to consult an attorney to make sure your rights are protected. Many traumatic brain injury sufferers require long-term medical care and rehabilitation in order to maintain their independence and quality of life.  Davis, Bethune & Jones has represented many individuals with brain injuries.

At DBJ, our experienced legal team will provide you with the top medical experts in the country to determine if you have suffered a traumatic brain injury and then work tirelessly to ensure you are compensated for all your current and future medical needs. Please call us at 1-800-875-5972 to set up a free consultation.

Traumatic Amputation

An amputation is the separation of a limb or appendage from the body. Unlike a surgical amputation, which is planned as treatment for a medical condition, a traumatic amputation is the result of a sudden accidental injury. Although amputations may seem rare, there are over 30,000 traumatic amputations in the United States every year.

If you have suffered a traumatic amputation, it is imperative that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure that your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve. Not only will your initial injury require extensive medical treatment, including multiple surgeries, but the loss of a limb will also affect you for the rest of your life. You may be compensated for pain and suffering (including phantom limb pain), psychological and emotional trauma, the cost of prosthetics and special accommodations, cosmetic surgery for scarring, and lost wages.

At DBJ, our expert legal team will consult with physicians, therapists, economists, and other professional experts to substantiate evidence of your injury and determine the dollar amount required to fully compensate you for your traumatic amputation. Please contact us at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Trucking + Trailer Decoupling Accidents

Trucking accidents happen for many reasons.  DBJ has represented people injured because trucking companies were negligent in many ways.  The negligent acts include:   tired truckers, truckers driving longer than allowed; phony log books; faulty brakes; truckers driving while sick and even a trucker driving with his arm in a sling.

Unfortunately, there are many instances in which trucking companies are negligent and cause accidents.  Some trucking companies place profits over safety and as a result, injure or kill people.  DBJ will represent the victims of trucking accidents and help to put their lives back together.

A trailer decoupling accident occurs when a trailer becomes disconnected from the cab or towing vehicle. While runaway trailer accidents are uncommon, they are often deadly. The sudden appearance of an out-of-control trailer careening full-speed down a highway gives the other drivers little time to react and its enormous size and weight advantage crushes anything in its path.

It is important to investigate the cause of a decoupling accident in order to determine the appropriate responsible party. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Defective coupling device
  • Improper operation of the coupling device
  • Overloaded trailer/unbalanced load
  • Speeding
  • Weather conditions/ high winds
  • Trailer sway

Trucking companies are closely regulated because of the danger these enormous vehicles pose to the other drivers on the road. The commercial driver and the trucking company both have a duty to perform inspections, maintenance, and other safety practices.

However, most decoupling accidents involve light- and medium-duty trailers owned by individuals or businesses, or rented for short-term hauling needs. These trailers are typically being towed by inexperienced drivers, unfamiliar with trailer sway and the handling effects of heavy cargo. Professional and commercial drivers are trained to respond to the physics of towing a heavily loaded trailer, but regular drivers may not be cognizant of the potential hazards.

Most trailer owners are unaware of even basic safety and proper towing procedures, and few have had any training or instruction. One survey found that fewer than half of all trailer owners properly attached their trailer’s safety chains. In all 50 states, a standard driver’s license is all that is required to tow a trailer.

If you have been involved in a decoupling accident, it is imperative that you obtain legal representation to ensure that your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve. Please call DBJ at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation. We have a history of successful litigation in trucking cases, including:

  • $9.5 million settlement with ABC Trucking Company for the family of a 15-year-old girl who was killed as a passenger in a head-on collision with a tractor trailer
  • $6.7 million recovery for a woman severely injured in a tractor trailer accident
  • $5.2 million settlement in a tractor trailer accident that resulted in multiple injuries and the death of an 89-year-old woman
  • Shafer v Yellow Frieght – $6 million verdict
  • Many dozens of other large settlements and verdicts from trucking accidents


Spinal Cord Injury

A spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord, usually from a sudden, traumatic blow that fractures or dislocates vertebrae, that affects muscle function, sensation, or autonomic function in parts of the body below the injury.

Spinal cord injuries are classified as complete, meaning no remaining sensation or muscle function, or incomplete, meaning some feeling still exists below the injury. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, the symptoms can vary from pain or numbness to paralysis.

The long-term prognosis can include permanent paraplegia (paralysis of the legs and lower body) or quadriplegia (paralysis of all four limbs or the entire body below the neck). Additional complications from spinal cord injuries include muscle atrophy, pressure sores, infections, bladder and bowel dysfunction, and respiratory problems.

Common causes of spinal cord injuries include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Falls
  • Acts of violence (primarily gunshot wounds)
  • Sports
  • Truck accidents
  • ATV (4 wheeler) accidents
  • Train accidents
  • Electrical injuries
  • Construction accidents

Because of the nature of these activities, spinal cord injuries primarily affect young adults, with nearly half of all injuries occurring between the ages of 16 and 30. These victims require many decades of continuous care and the future costs can be astronomically high.

If you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury, please call DBJ at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation. Our experienced legal team will negotiate a settlement or represent you at trial to ensure that those responsible for your injuries are held liable and you receive the proper compensation.

Shareholder Disputes – Private Company Ownership Disputes

Disputes among the owners of closely held businesses are extremely common.  Whether a company is organized as a partnership, corporation, or limited liability company (LLC), conflicts about how the business should be run can turn into intractable disagreements that can ruin a successful company. These issues can often be exacerbated by emotional factors when shareholders or partners are also family members or longtime friends who work closely together.

In the event disagreements cannot be resolved amicably, litigation may be the solution to a wide variety of shareholder or ownership disputes, including:

  • Shareholder, partnership, and LLC member disputes
  • Breach of shareholder/partnership agreements
  • Breach of fiduciary duty by corporate boards or officers
  • Minority shareholder oppression
  • Officer or director misconduct
  • Trademark and intellectual property disputes
  • Fraud
  • Dissolution of business

Lawsuits can also be brought on behalf of shareholders of publicly traded companies. A securities fraud class action is a lawsuit filed by investors who bought or sold a company’s stock and suffered economic injury as a result of violations of the securities laws, such as misleading statements or omissions by the corporate officers. Class action lawsuits are particularly effective when the individual losses are relatively small, making it inefficient for individuals to file their own lawsuits.

If you are involved in a shareholder dispute, please contact DBJ at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation. Whether your dispute involves a closely held business or a publicly traded company, your rights deserve to be protected.

Railroad Derailments

There are more than 5,000 train accidents in the United States every year, resulting in nearly 1,000 fatalities. Railroad derailments, when train cars run off the rails of their tracks, account for over 90% of these train accidents.

Railroad derailments often result in serious injuries to passengers, railroad employees, and bystanders. Many trains transport hazardous materials, so derailments can also result in toxic spills that have devastating consequences for local communities.

Railroad derailments can be caused by a combination of many factors, including:

  • Inadequate maintenance of tracks, such as broken rails
  • Excessive speed
  • Debris on the railroad tracks
  • Collisions with other trains
  • Improperly maintained switches
  • Train crew error

As common carriers, companies that transport members of the public for a fee, railroads are required to use the highest degree of care to prevent injury to their passengers. In addition to state law, the Federal Railroad Administration regulates safety throughout the railroad industry. The National Transportation Safety Board is generally responsible for investigating and determining the cause of railroad accidents.

After a railroad derailment, determining who was responsible and in what proportion is extremely complex. Railroad accident cases require expertise in all areas of the law, including product liability, negligence, and contract law. Your attorney needs to understand the physics and engineering of travel by rail and be well-versed in both state and federal law.

At DBJ, we have an extensive track record of successful cases against railroad companies. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed in a railroad derailment, call our office today at 1-800-875-5972 to arrange a free consultation with one of our expert railroad injury attorneys.

Railroad Crossings Accidents

The last few years have seen a significant increase in railroad crossing fatalities. Nearly 300 Americans are killed every year at railroad crossings, and thousands more are injured, often seriously.   Railroad corporations can prevent most railroad crossing accidents by:

  • Installing flashing lights and automatic gates signal systems at crossings. Despite knowledge within the industry that these systems prevent 94% of collisions at crossings, railroads refuse to install them on their own for safety purposes.
  • Remove trees, brush, and vegetation that block an approaching driver’s view of an oncoming train. Many railroads simply ignore this obvious and inexpensive public safety solution.
  • Maintain a safe surface for people to drive over the tracks. How many times have you driven over railroad tracks with boards and rail ties sticking up?

Profits should never be put ahead of public safety, but the railroad industry has proven time and again they will not implement simple and effective safety solutions unless they are forced to do so. At DBJ, our railroad accident attorneys are the voice of those put at risk and injured at railroad crossings due to the negligence of railroad companies. Our cases force railroads to be accountable for public safety by implementing safety measures they know will save innocent lives.

Some of our notable verdicts and settlements for railroad crossing accidents include:

  • $160 million verdict against Amtrak and Union Pacific Railroad for a 34-year old woman who suffered injuries from a railroad crossing accident (orthopedic injuries and brain injury)
  • $37.5 million settlement against Kansas City Southern Railroad after an 8 week trial
  • $12.5 million settlement against Union Pacific, the largest railroad crossing collision settlement in the history of the state of Arkansas
  • Many dozens of other settlements with railroads because of train/car collisions

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation with an experienced railroad crossing accident lawyer.

Product Liability

Under the legal doctrine of product liability, a manufacturer or seller is held liable for a defective product that injures a consumer. All the companies involved with the manufacture, sale, marketing, or distribution of the product may be responsible for the defective product.

Depending on the circumstances any party in the product’s chain of distribution could be liable for injuries caused by a product defect, including:

  • The product manufacturer
  • A manufacturer of component parts
  • A party that assembles or installs the product
  • The wholesaler
  • The retail store that sold the product to the consumer

Companies involved with the production or distribution of any consumer product bear the responsibility to make sure consumers are not at foreseeable risk. A consumer has the right to expect that any product offered for sale does not pose unreasonable danger when put to its intended use.

Defective product claims generally fall into three categories of product liability:

  • Defective manufacture
  • Defective design
  • Failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions concerning the proper use of the product

Product liability cases have involved virtually every industry in the United States. The following are just a few examples of defective products that have injured consumers:

  • Automotive defects (airbags, restraint systems, roof crushes, gas tanks)
  • Consumer products (helmets, exploding batteries)
  • Medical implants (Biomet hips)

If you have been injured by a defective product, our product liability attorneys have experience handling cases for every type of defective product.

For example, DBJ attorneys recently won a $2.25 million verdict in a product liability case in which a defective exploding battery caused a mechanic to suffer an eye injury and chemical burns. We also successfully sued an automobile manufacturer for a defective roof on a vehicle that collapsed during a rollover, killing the driver. Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.



If you’ve ever watched a television commercial, you know that there is a prescription drug available to treat just about any medical condition or disease you can imagine. Doctors currently have more than 10,000 prescription medications at their disposal. While these new drugs have no doubt contributed to better health for many patients, they have also created new risks.

Many over-the-counter drugs have become household words. People take them without a second thought because patients trust their doctors to prescribe medications that are safe for them to take. However, an increasing number of pharmaceutical products are putting people at risk, resulting in unhealthy side effects and, in some cases, even death. Adverse drug events are responsible for nearly 700,000 emergency room visits and 100,000 hospitalizations in the United States every year.

Prescription drug sales in the United States have reached nearly $400 billion per year. Because of the enormous amount of money at stake, pharmaceutical companies have been guilty of putting drugs on the market that have been inadequately tested or lack clear instructions or ample warnings. Pharmaceutical companies have a duty to ensure the safety of their products, and the litany of possible side effects announced at the end of each drug commercial is their attempt to forestall the inevitable lawsuits resulting from their failure to do so. Bextra, Celebrex, and Vioxx are just a few of the drugs that have harmed people and become the subject of scrutiny and lawsuits.

Our experienced pharmaceutical attorneys strive to protect the rights of the average person and hold drug companies accountable for their dangerous products.  To speak with a DBJ attorney today, call 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Premises Liability

Under the legal theory of premises liability, property owners are responsible for some injuries that occur on their property. To recover damages, an injured visitor typically must prove that the property owner knew or should reasonably have known that the premises were unsafe and failed to take the proper steps to make them safe.

While some states require the owner to exercise reasonable care with respect to all persons who might enter the property, Missouri law divides visitors into three categories:

  • Invitees
  • Licensees
  • Trespassers

As the name implies, an invitee is someone who is invited on to the property for some benefit to the property owner, such as a friend or neighbor or a customer in a store. An invitee has received the property owner’s express or implied permission to enter the property. A property owner owes an invitee a duty of reasonable care to keep the property safe. Invitees can also include employees injured by unsafe conditions, such as construction or industrial accidents and grain elevator explosions.

A licensee has the property owner’s permission to enter the property, but is coming onto the property for his own purposes, such as a salesman. A licensee is owed a lesser duty. The property owner must warn the licensee of dangerous conditions if the property owner knows about the condition and the licensee is not likely to be able to discover it.

A trespasser is on the property without permission. A property owner owes no duty of reasonable care to a trespasser, except in certain cases involving children, such as swimming pools.

An injured visitor can recover damages proximately caused by the property owner’s negligence. Damages generally include medical expenses, lost wages and future earnings, and pain and suffering.

Premises liability law is extremely complex and varies from state to state and goes beyond simply slip and fall accidents. If you have been injured on someone else’s property, it is imperative that you seek legal representation to make certain your rights are protected. At DBJ, our expert legal team will investigate your accident and negotiate a settlement or represent you at trial to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Please contact us at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Nursing Home Negligence

There are more than 40 million people in the United States age 65 or older, many of whom will need some form of long-term care. Unfortunately, the elderly suffer abuse at one of every three nursing homes across the country, so there is an excellent chance you will encounter nursing home negligence at some point in your life..

The elderly in nursing homes rely on staff and professionals to handle their needs and provide the care that they can no longer provide for themselves. Nursing home residents often need assistance with the activities of daily living (ADL’s), including dressing, bathing, toileting, personal hygiene, eating, and drinking. They also may need help simply getting in and out of bed or transferring to a chair.

Not providing elderly residents with ADL’s amounts to nursing home negligence. When the elderly are not given proper liquids and nutrition, they can become dehydrated or ill. The consequences can be severe in many cases because often the elderly already suffer from physical ailments. If assistance is not given to help them move, they may fall and break bones or develop bed sores or skin ulcers. Alzheimer’s patients left unwatched can wander off and get lost. Extreme negligence may result in severe medical complications and even death.

Many nursing homes are woefully understaffed, and many of the personnel they do have are underqualified or poorly trained. Private nursing homes that are run as for-profit institutions frequently cut back on staff to increase their bottom lines. As a result, many elderly residents fail to receive proper care.

Nursing home negligence can be difficult to detect. If you suspect your loved one may have been subjected to nursing home negligence, our experienced injury attorneys can assist you in discovering whether abuse has actually occurred and advise you regarding the appropriate legal action. Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind only heart disease and cancer. Approximately 250,000 Americans die every year as a result of some form of medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is injured as the result of receiving treatment from a doctor or other health professional that falls below the accepted standard of care in the medical community. “Standard of care” does not require perfect or ideal medical care, just the normal care that would be expected from a reasonably competent professional in the same field.

The most common types of medical malpractice are mistakes in treatment, improper diagnoses, and lack of informed consent. Doctors are not liable for all negative outcomes, only for those injuries caused by their failure to provide the proper standard of care. Medical malpractice cases often come down to the testimony of expert witnesses attempting to define the proper standard of care for the medical condition in question and determine whether the treatment received met that standard.

The state of Missouri recently passed a law that places a cap on medical malpractice damages, after a previous law was declared unconstitutional by the Missouri Supreme Court. Medical malpractice plaintiffs are limited to $400,000 in non-economic damages. The cap increases to $700,000 in the event of catastrophic personal injury (paralysis, loss of limbs, brain injuries, loss of vision) or wrongful death.

The cap only applies to non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. The injured party will still be compensated for all monetary damages related to the injury. There is no cap on:

  • Economic damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and future earnings

Missouri law also requires the filing of an affidavit of merit stating that a qualified expert was consulted about the case and agreed that the defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

As you can see, medical malpractice law is extremely complex. If you have been injured as a result of a doctor’s negligence, it is essential that you seek legal representation to ensure that your rights are protected and those responsible are held accountable. Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

Mass Tort Actions

A mass tort is a lawsuit involving multiple plaintiffs joined together in law suits against one or more defendants.  Similar to a class action lawsuit, the plaintiffs share common questions of fact or law arising out of the same series of transactions or occurrences.  However, mass tort cases are different from class action cases in many important ways.

Mass tort actions are typically pursued when one of the legal criteria for proceeding as a class action is not met, such as when different circumstances for each plaintiff outweigh common issues of fact.  Mass torts generally involve:

  • A large group of plaintiffs has allegedly been harmed
  • Common defendants are alleged to have caused the harm
  • The lawsuit is consolidated into one action

Mass tort claims are often brought when consumers are injured on a large scale by a defective product. For example, mass tort actions have been brought against the manufacturers of transvaginal mesh (TVM) and inferior vena cava (IVC) filters, defective medical devices that have caused numerous health complications for patients across the country.

If you have been injured as a result of a project defect that has also harmed many other consumers, it is important to select the right attorneys to represent you. Mass tort actions require an enormous investment of financial capital by the law firm and a large staff of attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants to manage the litigation, documentation and other work associated with the case.

At DBJ, we have lawyers with extensive experience handling mass tort actions, as well as the financing and infrastructure in place to see your case through to a successful conclusion. Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.


In the modern world, electrocution is a constant danger, both at work and at home. Every year in the United States, over 1,000 people are killed by electrocution and another 30,000 suffer non-fatal shock accidents.

Electrocution is the main cause of death in construction accidents, responsible for 20% of all construction fatalities. Working with electricity in a home or building where there is non-insulated or substandard wiring is a substantial risk for everyone on site. Accidents have occurred when workers have driven cranes or used metal-enforced hydraulic hoses or scaffolds near power lines.

Power lines also provide great risk of electrocution for everyday people, especially when the lines are down because of a thunderstorm, ice storm, or similar natural occurrence. Electrical companies are required to fix power lines blown down by a storm and to take precautions not to run power lines too close to a house. They are also responsible for following industry standards when erecting power lines and ensuring the lines are properly marked so they are visible to aircraft.

Danger from electricity is not limited to power lines. Electrocution can occur in many other ways, such as through the use of faulty electrical appliances like power tools, hair dryers, and other household appliances. Electrocution is often fatal, but it can also result in other injuries, including electric shock, burns, permanent nerve and brain injury in addition to falls are common  after contact with an electric current.

When a third party, whether a manufacturer of a defective product or a power company, is responsible for hazardous conditions resulting in electrocution or electrical injuries, there may be grounds for legal action. At DBJ, our attorneys have extensive experience litigating electrocution and electrical injury cases.

DBJ electrocution litigation successes include:

  • $30 million verdict for a carpenter who was shocked when the electrical subcontractor failed to turn off the electricity at a construction site
  • $6.8 million verdict for a man who was shocked while working near a crane

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

FELA (Railroad Employee Injuries)

In the early 20th Century, the United States railroad industry was growing exponentially, leading to increased dangers for railroad workers. The average life expectancy for a switchman was just seven years, and the odds of a railroad brakeman dying on the job were nearly four to one. When injuries and deaths occurred on the job, railroad workers and their families were not entitled to any form of compensation.

In 1908, the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) was passed by Congress, granting injured railroad workers the right to sue their employers for compensation in the event of a work-related injury. In addition, surviving family members were given the right to bring suit on behalf of railroad workers who were killed on the job. The railroads were finally held accountable for the dangerous conditions in which they placed their employees.

FELA requires railroad companies to meet certain standards of duty, including:

  • Providing a reasonably safe workplace
  • Exercising a reasonable level of care for employee safety
  • Providing employees with safe equipment, tools, and safety devices
  • Choosing appropriately safe methods to carry out work
  • Providing the proper level of help to ensure that work is carried out safely
  • Inspecting the workplace for hazards that would inhibit safety
  • Creating and enforcing rules and best practices for safety
  • Providing the necessary training for equipment, tools, and work techniques

FELA differs from workers compensation in that compensation is not awarded automatically. The employee must prove that the railroad acted negligently, resulting in injury or death. The employee or surviving family members may be entitled to:

  • Lost Wages
  • Medical Expenses
  • Funeral Costs
  • Lost Benefits
  • Pain & Suffering
  • Emotional Damages
  • Disability Pay

Because FELA has a three-year statute of limitations, it is imperative to seek legal help immediately to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. We have attorneys with a long history of successful FELA cases, including:

  • Largest FELA settlement in the Midwest (Confidential settlement)
  • $3.2 million jury verdict for a Union Pacific Railroad employee who fell from a crane ladder
  • $3.5 million jury verdict for a railroad conductor who developed kidney failure after a rigorous shift in near-zero weather conditions
  • $4.3 million jury verdict for a railroad employee injured while operating a rail heater
  • Many dozens of other settlements and verdicts regarding railroad workers

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Aviation Accidents

Although commercial flying is statistically the safest form of travel, there are still thousands of plane crashes and hundreds of deaths every year in the United States. Many accidents involving private aircraft go unnoticed because they are not heavily reported in the media. When an airplane accident does occur, the results are usually catastrophic and often fatal.

Personal injury or wrongful death claims resulting from aviation accidents are generally controlled by the legal theories of negligence and product liability, but air safety is also subject to the rulings of two federal agencies. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is primarily responsible for the advancement, safety, and regulation of civil aviation. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates civil aviation accidents, determines probable cause, and issues safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents.

The most common causes of aviation accidents include:

  • Pilot error
  • Other human error
  • Mechanical failure
  • Structural or design problems
  • Weather

The potential defendants in a plane crash lawsuit vary depending on the cause of the accident. The owner, manufacturer, and operator of the aircraft, the company responsible for maintaining the aircraft, and even the federal government may bear some responsibility for an aviation accident.

Claims for damages suffered as a result of an aviation accident are also complicated and may include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages and future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Punitive damages

Due to all of the above factors, aviation accident lawsuits are extremely complex. At Davis, Bethune & Jones, we have experience handling every type of aviation lawsuit, including both fixed-wing and helicopter accidents. In one recent case, we won a verdict of $21 million from a St. Louis jury for two U.S. Army reservists who died when their helicopter crashed after hitting unmarked power lines. If you have been involved in an aviation accident, please call Davis, Bethune & Jones today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Gas Explosions

Natural gas is used to heat more than half the homes in the United States. Propane is the most common source of energy in rural areas that do not have natural gas service. The overwhelming majority of Americans are at risk from gas explosions from these sources on a day-to-day basis.

Gas explosions commonly result in severe burns, catastrophic injury, or death, in addition to extensive property damage. Burn survivors suffer devastating pain and frequently disfigurement. Medical treatment for burn injuries often includes skin grafts, plastic surgery, and a lifetime of professional care. Gas explosion victims deserve to be compensated for their injuries, including medical bills, lost wages and future earnings, pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, and loss of quality of life.

Gas explosion cases are extremely complex and sometimes difficult to prove. Most of the evidence has usually been destroyed in the blast and determining liability involves investigation into the acts and omissions of various different parties. The victim bears the burden of proving that the gas explosion was the result of the defendant’s negligence, and any number of parties could be held partially or completely liable.

Manufacturers and sellers of goods fueled by flammable gases must take special care to avoid producing defective products. Some of the most common causes of flammable gas explosions are:

  • Improper installation
  • Defective valves, connectors or seals
  • Improper odorization
  • Leaking hoses or tanks
  • Inadequate labeling
  • Negligent response to a gas leak

Depending on the circumstances, liability could fall upon the appliance manufacturer, the maintenance company, the gas or propane company, the landlord or building owner, or an unrelated party who negligently ruptured the gas line.

The complexity of these cases combined with the severity of the injuries suffered makes it essential that you hire an experienced attorney to protect your rights if you or a loved one have been hurt in a gas explosion. At DBJ, our talented gas explosion legal team will investigate your case, hire the appropriate scientific experts, and negotiate a settlement or represent you at trial to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

DBJ represented many of the people that were injured in the JJ’s Restaurant explosion on the Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri.  On February 19, 2013,  the popular restaurant JJ’s exploded destroying the building.  More than 10 people were in the building.  One person was killed and many were seriously injured in the natural gas explosion.

DBJ also represented the family of a man killed as a result of a propane gas explosion in Illinois.  The man was called a hero for running to the source of the propane gas leak in an attempt to close an emergency valve prior to the explosion.

Boating & Personal Watercraft Accidents

Approximately 3,000 people are injured and 600 people are killed in the United States every year in boating or personal watercraft accidents. When determining who was at fault in a boating accident, state law, federal law, and even maritime law may apply.

The state of Missouri requires Boating Education for anyone born after Jan. 1, 1984, who will be operating a vessel on any Missouri lake. Under federal law, boating accidents must be reported by filing a Boating Accident Report (BAR) with the state boating authority. These reports must be made after any accident involving a boat or its equipment if a person:

  • Dies as a result of the boating accident
  • Requires emergency medical treatment beyond first aid
  • Disappears from the vessel

The most common primary contributing factors in boating accidents are:

  • Operator inattention
  • Improper lookout
  • Operator inexperience
  • Excessive speed
  • Machinery failure
  • Alcohol use
  • Navigation rules violation
  • Force of wave/wake
  • Hazardous waters
  • Weather

Although only the sixth most common contributing factor in all boating accidents, alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents, involved in 16% of deaths. The leading causes of death in boating accidents are:

  • Drowning
  • Trauma
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Hypothermia
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning

Boating and personal watercraft accidents are among the most complex cases in personal injury law. Not only are there often multiple jurisdictions determining the law, but the fact that the accident occurred on the water complicates the gathering of evidence immensely. If you have been injured in a boating or personal watercraft accident, it is essential that you hire an experienced attorney. Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Insurance Dispute/Bad Faith

An insurance company has the duty to act in good faith toward an insured. When an insurer unreasonably withholds the benefits of an insurance policy from its insured, it is considered to be in “bad faith.”

One type of “bad faith” is the failure to settle a claim against an insured.  The insurance company has a duty to protect its insured.  If the insurance company has an opportunity to settle the case but fails to do so, the insurance company may be sued and found liable for bad faith.  If a jury verdict is obtained above the policy limits, the insurance company may have to pay the entire verdict.

Under Missouri law, an insured whose claim has been wrongfully denied can bring a cause of action for vexatious refusal to pay. The Missouri statute authorizes damages for vexatious delay and provides for damages and attorney’s fees in addition to the amount of the loss actually suffered by the insured.

In order to recover vexatious damages, the insured “must show that the insurer’s refusal to pay the loss was willful and without reasonable cause, as the facts would appear to a reasonable and prudent person before trial.” This does not mean that the denial of any claim is a vexatious refusal to pay. An insurer has the right to refuse payment if it has reasonable grounds for denying the claim.

The following are just a few of the many situations in which vexatious refusal penalties have been awarded:

  • Refusal to pay based on a suspicion that is unsupported by substantial facts
  • Persistence in refusal to pay after insurer becomes aware that it has no meritorious defense
  • Refusal to pay based on an inadequate investigation and a denial of liability without stating a ground for denial
  • Refusal to pay founded not on what appeared to be the facts, but on a possibility that later investigation would develop facts justifying a refusal to pay, even if such investigation did develop such facts
  • Proposing settlement offers for much less than the claim is worth
  • Unnecessarily delaying payment of the claim

If your insurance company has denied your claim in bad faith, it is imperative that you obtain an experienced attorney to handle your case. The Missouri statutes are complex and contain many specific legal requirements for bringing a cause of action for vexatious refusal to pay. Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

DBJ has successfully resolved hundreds of automobile cases over many decades.  Our results include a $45 million verdict and many dozens of cases involving multi-million dollar settlements or verdicts.

Over six million automobile accidents occur in the United States every year, far and away the most common type of personal injury. Because nearly everyone has had some experience with car accidents, you may feel that you can handle negotiations with the insurance company yourself, but it is essential that you obtain legal representation immediately in the event of any but the most minor car accidents.

All Missouri automobile drivers by law must carry minimum liability insurance. However, insurance companies have a vested interest in settling claims for the least amount possible, and auto accident victims frequently do not know how much they should be compensated for injuries and damages. Future medical expenses are difficult to estimate and many serious injuries do not manifest themselves for months or even years. Insurance claims often involve complex legal issues and the insurance company may try to shift the blame to you for an accident that was not your fault. The chances of a fair recovery are remote at best without the services of an experienced personal injury attorney.

If you have been involved in an automobile accident, our expert car accident attorneys will make sure you meet the statute of limitations for filing a claim, deal with the insurance adjusters, and assist you in preparing proper medical care documentation, as well as interviewing witnesses and preserving evidence for trial. We will also help you decide the most effective course of legal action to take in the event of complicating factors such as an automobile manufacturing defect or defective tires. We will then negotiate a settlement or represent you at trial to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Protecting Farmers from Agricultural Companies

Agriculture is the number one industry in Missouri. The state contains nearly 100,000 farms, 90% of which are family owned and operated, that produce approximately $10 billion in cash receipts from agricultural commodities every year. All of these interconnected transactions inevitably lead to a large number of agricultural disputes.

The law pertaining to agricultural production, marketing, and distribution is extremely complex. Agriculture is not only subject to state law, but Congress also has the power to regulate agricultural production under the federal Constitution. In addition, programs and laws that pertain to farming are overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the executive department responsible for developing and executing federal government policy on farming, forestry, and food.

Agricultural disputes can arise under any area of the law. Some examples include:

  • Breach of contract
  • Crop insurance
  • Land use and environmental regulations
  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • Agricultural cooperatives
  • Intellectual property issues
  • Crop-related business loss
  • Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

Reduced yields or crop failure are often the result of the negligence of a third party. Crop damage can result from fungicides, soil contamination, and run-off or airborne contamination from the application of a pesticide. Agricultural disputes involve not only crop science and chemical analysis, but also financial analysis to determine the economic impact of the damage or reduced yield.

The rise of genetically modified crops has created new agricultural disputes. One estimate suggests that 70% of products in grocery stores today include some genetically modified ingredient.

It was alleged that Bayer CropScience allowed an unapproved genetically modified trait into the U.S. rice supply.  As a result, many countries would not purchase U.S. long grain rice.  DBJ was instrumental in the Liberty Link Rice Litigation that resulted in a $750 million settlement for over 7,000 farmers.

DBJ was involved in litigation with Archer, Daniels, Midland Corporation in several cases involved farmers.  DBJ represented several farmers that lost entire years of crops because of a failed dam/levy.

If you are involved in an agricultural dispute, it is essential that you hire an experienced agricultural attorney to negotiate the myriad complexities of United States agriculture law. Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.



Fraud is the intentional deception of a person or business for monetary or personal gain. Fraudulent acts include trickery, deceit, intentional misrepresentation, concealment, and nondisclosure for the purpose of inducing another to part with something of value.

Fraud is sometimes confused with theft. However, theft generally involves taking something through force or by stealth, whereas fraud involves a purposeful misrepresentation of fact.

Fraud can be pursued as both a criminal and civil action, depending on who is pursuing legal action in the case. The same fraudulent act can be prosecuted by the government as a crime and also pursued as a civil action by the injured party. The only real difference between the two suits is that actual damages must be proven in the civil case.

A successful fraud case must prove the following legal elements:

  • Misrepresentation of a material fact
  • The misrepresentation was known to be false or made recklessly without knowledge of its truth
  • The misrepresentation was made purposefully, with the intent of inducing the victim to act on the misrepresentation
  • The victim justifiably believed the misrepresentation and relied upon it
  • The victim suffered damages as a result of the misrepresentation

The remedies for fraud may include:

  • Rescission of a fraudulently obtained contract or transaction
  • Monetary damages to compensate for the actual harm caused
  • Punitive damages to punish or deter the misconduct

An allegation of fraud can also serve as a defense to a civil action for breach of contract or specific performance of contract.

If you or your business have been the victim of a fraudulent act, it is essential that you hire an experienced fraud attorney to ensure that those responsible are held liable and you receive the compensation you deserve. Please call DBJ at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

ATV Accidents

All-terrain vehicles (ATV’s) are small, single- or dual-person vehicles that use four low-pressure tires to handle rough terrains. They are used for recreational purposes on off-road courses or open land. Over 100,000 people are seriously injured in the United States every year in ATV accidents. More than 25% of those injured are children under the age of 16.

Despite lower speeds, ATV’s are as dangerous as motorcycles, based on mortality and injury statistics. Because they are often operated on uneven terrain, the biggest danger from ATV use is the possibility of a rollover. Unlike cars, ATV’s do not have the protection of a roof, and even ATV’s with roll bars frequently do not prevent the driver and passengers from suffering severe crush injuries.

The most common serious injuries in ATV accidents include:

  • Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
  • Neck and spinal cord injuries
  • Fractures and dislocations
  • Chest and abdominal injuries
  • Whiplash

People injured in non-fatal ATV accidents can suffer lifelong catastrophic medical problems. Head and spinal cord injuries often require extensive, ongoing physical therapy and rehabilitation. Many victims will require decades of continuous care, at an estimated lifetime cost in excess of $5 million.

If you or a loved one have suffered injuries as a result of an ATV accident, our experienced personal injury attorneys will negotiate a settlement or represent you at trial to ensure that you receive the compensation you need to maintain your independence and quality of life for as long as you live. Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Business Tort

A business tort is an intentional or negligent wrongful act committed against a business. Unlike most actionable offenses, business torts are not committed against persons or property. The damages are to intangible assets, such as economic interests or business relationships.

Business tort cases include all types of business relationships, including corporations, partnerships, LLCs, and contracts. There are a number of different theories under which a business tort case can be brought.

Tortious interference permits a claim for damages against a defendant who wrongfully interferes with the plaintiff’s legitimate contractual or business relationships. The elements of tortious interference include:

  • Valid contract or business relationship between the plaintiff and a third party
  • Defendant’s knowledge of the contract or relationship
  • A wrongful act by the defendant that interferes with the contract or relationship
  • Actual interference with or disruption of the contract or relationship
  • Resulting damages to the plaintiff

Examples of tortious interference include convincing a competitor’s employee to breach an employment contract or persuading a customer to break a contract with a competitor.

Fraudulent misrepresentation, also known as fraud or deceit, provides a cause of action against a dishonest defendant. The plaintiff must establish that:

  • The defendant made a false representation
  • The representation was known to be false or made recklessly without knowledge of its truth
  • The plaintiff relied on the representation
  • The plaintiff was damaged as a result of the misrepresentation

Examples of fraudulent misrepresentation include a business providing false financial statements or failing to disclose a material defect in something offered for sale.

Unfair competition laws are designed to protect consumers and businesses from deceptive business practices. Similar to trademark and copyright infringement, unfair competition precludes acts meant to confuse consumers as to the source of a product. Unfair competition also prohibits other deceptive practices, including false advertising, “bait and switch” selling tactics, and theft of trade secrets.

At DBJ, we have tort lawyers with extensive experience handling every type of business tort case. If your business has been damaged as a result of the wrongful acts of a competitor, please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.