Simmons Hanly Conroy's Support Blog

Simmons Hanly Conroy’s support blog is a place for clients and families to find news, education, and inspirational stories about the following areas of litigation: mesothelioma and asbestos, dangerous drugs and devices, consumer protection and mass torts, personal injury and environmental litigation.

Latest from Simmons Hanly Conroy's Support Blog

When U.S. veteran Walter Twidwell started experiencing shortness of breath and frequent bouts of pneumonia, he knew something was amiss. Walter’s doctor sent him to get a chest X-ray. Shortly thereafter, imaging revealed that Walter had pleural mesothelioma, a devastating cancer that most commonly develops in the pleural linings of the lungs.

“The word ‘mesothelioma’ — I didn’t know anything about,” Walter said. Mesothelioma is a rare disease — most, like Walter, have never heard of it — and its symptoms can often be mistaken for other conditions, such as the common cold or flu.

At the time, little did
Continue Reading How Filing a Mesothelioma Claim Helped U.S. Navy Veteran Walter Twidwell

As the sprawling New York State opioid trial heads into the last week of October, attention has shifted toward a court-commissioned referee report recommending sanctions against the defense law firm Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer (APKS), which represented Endo Pharmaceuticals in the ongoing case.

Prior to Endo Pharmaceuticals’s recent $50 million settlement with New York State and Suffolk and Nassau Counties and their subsequent severing from the trial, state and county representatives accused Endo’s legal counsel, APKS, of withholding potentially “damning evidence” regarding its marketing and sales of prescription opioids during the discovery phase of the trial — an accusation
Continue Reading In the News: Sanctions Recommended Against Law Firm Representing Endo Pharmaceuticals in New York State Opioid Trial

The National Celebration of Pro Bono begins on Oct. 24 and will run through Oct. 30. The week serves as an opportunity to shine a light on the amazing pro bono work by lawyers, paralegals and law students from all across the United States.
Often seen as a professional responsibility among lawyers and other legal professionals, pro bono work — or legal counsel provided free-of-charge — serves a vital role in our nation’s justice system, bringing much-needed legal assistance to those who are often unable to pay for services. According to the American Bar Association (ABA), pro bono work is
Continue Reading National Celebration of Pro Bono Week Begins Oct. 24

The ongoing New York opioid trial is approaching the 4-month mark since opening arguments began on June 28, 2021. The sprawling trial once included companies all along the supply chain from manufacturers to marketers to distributors, many of which have since settled. It is the first opioid case in the United States to be tried before a jury.

Leading up to the trial’s opening arguments, several original defendants, including Johnson & Johnson and the pharmacies CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid and Wal-Mart, were severed from the trial.

Though the trial is not yet over, it has already garnered favorable results for
Continue Reading NY State Opioid Trial Continues With Defense Witnesses to Set to Testify

September is here — and that means National Mesothelioma Awareness Day is right around the corner. On Sept. 26, 2021, the United States will honor the thousands of individuals and families whose lives have been impacted by mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
Each year, roughly 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma. Symptoms of the disease typically start to occur 10 to 50 years after exposure. While there are several treatment options available, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery, the disease still has a high mortality rate because it is not usually discovered until late stages when
Continue Reading Getting Involved in This Year’s National Mesothelioma Awareness Day on Sept. 26

A great way to show support for a loved one who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma is by registering for the Alton Miles for Meso 5K, which will be held virtually for the second straight year. Racers and supporters interested in participating are invited to register for the virtual race and run or walk from anywhere!
The race is set to begin on Sept. 25, the day before National Mesothelioma Awareness Day. For the 8th straight year, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) will be the recipient of all registration fees and donation proceeds raised from the race.
For this
Continue Reading Miles for Meso Spotlight: Honoring the Legacy of Mesothelioma Warrior George Dreith

Thursday, Sept. 9, marked a major breakthrough in the New York State opioid trial as defendant Endo International Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiaries settled with New York State and Suffolk and Nassau Counties for $50 million. 
The settlement marks the conclusion of a series of recent events in which state and county representatives, including State Attorney General Letitia James, accused Endo of withholding “damning evidence” regarding its marketing and sales of prescription opioids from the discovery phase of the trial. 
Endo had been held in contempt of court in an opioid trial in Tennessee for withholding similar information from the discovery
Continue Reading In the News: Endo Pharmaceuticals Agrees to $50M Settlement With New York State, Suffolk and Nassau Counties

As the academic year begins and students start heading back to school, there may be no better time for parents, teachers, school administrators, instructors and coaches to help younger students make smarter decisions about their health — and that includes avoiding the use of e-cigarettes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly “1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students reported using e-cigarettes in 2020.” 
The CDC also notes that in the year 2020:

  • About 3.6 million American youth reported current e-cigarette use
  • E-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product


Continue Reading The Dangers of Teen Vaping as Students Return to In-Person Learning This School Year

Recent weeks in the New York State opioid trial have seen defendant Endo Pharmaceuticals propelled into the spotlight, as the company stands accused by the State of willfully withholding relevant and potentially damning evidence during discovery — a move for which Endo and its attorneys were subject to orders of contempt and sanctions in a similar case involving several Tennessee counties.
The judge presiding over the Tennessee opioid case found that Endo’s legal representatives made numerous “false statements” about their discovery compliance.
At the start of August, New York State filed a motion requesting that a ruling procedure referred to
Continue Reading In the News: New York State Files Motion Asking Judge to Render Default Judgement Against Endo Pharmaceuticals

We are excited to reveal this year’s T-shirt graphic design for the 2021 Miles for Meso 5k run/3k fun walk, which will be held virtually on Sept. 25, 2021. A long-sleeve T-shirt is included with every registration.
This year’s T-shirt design features the Piasa Bird, which references a local Native American legend that originates from the Illini tribe. A painting featuring the Piasa Bird is located on the bluffs just outside of Alton, Illinois, at the start of the Great River Road.
The term “Piasa” means a bird that devours men in the Illini village. The legend of the bird
Continue Reading This Year’s Miles for Meso Virtual 5K T-Shirt Reveal

Witness testimony continued in Touro College’s law school auditorium throughout week five of the New York State opioid trial, as the jury heard from local first responders and officials who shared their intimate knowledge about how the opioid epidemic affected Long Island’s Suffolk and Nassau Counties.
Among many witnesses examined during week five, expert testimony came from Nassau County Assistant Police Chief Chris Ferro and Jennifer Culp, who is the intergovernmental coordinator for the Suffolk Department of Health Services.
Under direct examination by Simmons Hanly Conroy Shareholder Jayne Conroy, who is co-lead of the New York opioid trial representing New
Continue Reading In the News: Fifth Week of New York State Opioid Trial Sees First Responders, Local Officials Testify on Devastation in Suffolk, Nassau Counties

One great way to show support for a loved one who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma is by registering for the Alton Miles for Meso 5K, which will be held virtually for the second straight year. Racers and supporters interested in participating are invited to register for the virtual race and run or walk from anywhere!
For the 8th consecutive year, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) will be accepting submissions of the names of mesothelioma survivors or victims to include on Warrior Race Bibs. 
The purpose of submitting a name of a loved one who has been diagnosed with
Continue Reading Honoring Brave Mesothelioma Warriors at This Year’s Miles for Meso

In a major move, the third week of the ongoing New York State opioid trial saw the three largest U.S. drug distributors — McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation — agree mid-trial to settle claims with New York State, including both Suffolk County and Nassau County. If approved by the state and county legislatures, the agreement will require the three companies to pay a combined $1.18 billion over the next 17 years.
The distributors’ decision to settle claims follows Johnson & Johnson’s $230 million settlement, which Suffolk and Nassau County general legislatures approved. The settlement includes a
Continue Reading In the News: New York State Agrees to $1.2 Billion Settlement With Three Major Drug Distributors in New York Opioid Trial

In early spring, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), along with the American Public Health Association (APHA) and several other organizations and public health experts, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure that the federal agency meets its obligation of evaluating the risks of so-called “legacy” asbestos.
The lawsuit, which largely focuses on Trump-era evaluations that many organizations and environmentalists see as incomplete for their exclusion of risk-assessment on legacy asbestos, has since been delayed in briefing as the EPA and the ADAO (along with other petitioners) engage in “positive settlement discussions.” 
Approved by a
Continue Reading ADAO, 11 Public Health Groups Sue the EPA Over Inaction on ‘Legacy’ Asbestos Risk Assessment

Asbestos, a carcinogen responsible for thousands of American deaths annually, has often been found in consumer products like makeup, children’s toys and talcum powder. Yet, no one has been tracking asbestos use in consumer products to ensure the public is adequately warned. 
 
An important step toward better oversight of asbestos-containing products took place recently thanks to the leadership of the independent nonprofit, Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), and several state attorneys general. 
 
In a settlement reached between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a coalition of 10 states, the District of Columbia and several advocacy groups,
Continue Reading EPA Agrees to Require Reporting on Asbestos Use and Exposure Under TSCA

When the Allied Forces stormed the beaches of Normandy in northern France, it marked a pivotal turning point in World War II — overwhelmed by the invasion, Nazi forces retreated back to the Seine River, and the Allies accepted their official surrender less than a year later. 
Officially, the invasion was called “Operation Overlord,” but most people refer to this incredibly consequential battle as “D-Day” or the “Battle of Normandy.” Today, D-Day is remembered and observed in many of the ally nations, including the United States, United Kingdom and France.
D-Day is observed not only because it kicked-started the liberation
Continue Reading Today We Remember D-Day and 2,500 Brave American Souls