Multi-Billion Dollar Lawsuit against Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
THE LAW OFFICES OF KIM PARKER, P.A., FILES A LAWSUIT AGAINST THERMO FISHER SCIENTIFIC INC. ON BEHALF OF THE FAMILY OF HENRIETTA LACKS IN THE U.S. DISTRICT COURT OF MARYLAND
BALTIMORE CITY, MD –
The Family of Henrietta Lacks, by and through, Nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorneys Ben Crump, Chris Seevers and Kim Parker, have filed a multi-billion dollar lawsuit against Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., for unjust enrichment respecting Henrietta Lack’s cells.
In 1951, the chair of gynecology at Johns Hopkins – Dr. Richard Wesley TeLinde – faced widespread criticism for his practice of frequently removing the cervix, uterus, and substantial portions of the vagina of patients with carcinoma in situ, a condition not believed to be deadly at the time.
The cells taken from Henrietta Lacks have unique properties. While most cell samples die shortly after they are removed from the body, Ms. Lacks’ cells survived and reproduced in the laboratory. This exceptional quality meant that it was possible to cultivate Ms. Lacks’ cells into a cell line that could reproduce indefinitely in laboratory conditions – an immortal cell line. Indeed, Ms. Lacks’ cells were the first known immortalized human cell line. Medical researchers refer to Henrietta Lacks’ cultivated cell line as the HeLa cell line, using the first letters of Ms. Lacks’ first and last names.
The Estate of Henrietta Lacks brings a single cause of action – unjust enrichment – against Thermo Fisher Scientific for its choice to profit from the unlawful conduct of Johns Hopkins’ doctors. Under settled law, as articulated in the Third Restatement of Restitution “a defendant who is enriched by misconduct and who acts  with knowledge of the underlying wrong to the claimant” is a conscious wrongdoer liable for its profits. Restatement (Third) of Restitution and Unjust Enrichment ? 51(3) (2011). Put simply, because it made the conscious choice to profit from the assault of Henrietta Lacks, Thermo Fisher Scientific’s ill-gotten gains rightfully belong to Ms. Lacks’ Estate.
A press conference outlining the suit will be held today at 10:30 a.m. in front of the United States District Court, 101 W. Lombard Street, Baltimore, Maryland, which will be televised by local and national tv stations, including, CNN.