Wed, 30 December 2015
From October 16, Sam live in Las Vegas at the Mass Torts Made Perfect conference:
Tim Maloney of Maloney & Campolo is on first Volkswagen’s use of a “defeat device” in their software to cheat emissions tests. Discussion of VW’s ambitions to be the world’s’ largest car company, and the role “clean diesel” was meant to play in getting them there. Which VW executives and engineers must have known about the cheat, and what was the long game? Finally, how this type of behavior is incentivized by corporate structures.
Chris Paulos from Levin Papantonio is on to talk about DuPont’s contamination of the Parkersburg, West Viginia area with C8, a harmfully bio-persistent and toxic surfactant originally developed, and subsequently phased out, by 3M. Discussion of DuPont’s cover-up of C8 contamination, as well as DuPont’s history of malfeasance and criminality. Next, the strategy and ramifications of the Carla Bartlett v. DuPont case. The use of C8 in the production of teflon products, and DuPont’s failure to incinerate the C8 as 3M guidelines recommend.
Finally, Michael Baum of Baum Hedlund is on to talk about Factor 8, a hemophilia drug found to be infected with HIV in the early 1980s. How plasma centers sought hepatitis-infected plasma, needed for antibodies, by using donors from prison populations and by advertising in gay magazines. The subsequent use of that infected plasma to make blood products meant to be with non-contaminated plasma. Baum says estimates of people infected are nearly 10k in the US and 10k internationally.
FOR MEMBERS: Paul Starr on the political decisions that formed the media, spanning from the 15th century to the 21st.