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THE ESTATE OF HENRIETTA LACKS’ SUES THERMO FISHER SCIENTIFIC INC. OVER USE OF CELLS ON THE 70 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF HER DEATH

Henrietta Lacks Family and Attorneys Kim Parker, Ben Crump and Chris Seegers praying at an October 4, 2021 press conference

By the Associated Press

The estate of Henrietta Lacks sued a pharmaceutical company on Monday, accusing it of selling cells that doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital took from the Black woman in 1951 without her knowledge or consent.

The cells taken from the woman who died of cervical cancer, known as HeLa cells, have been reproduced infinitely ever since, and used in countless scientific and medical innovations including the development of the polio vaccine and gene mapping.

The “HeLa cell line, became the first human cells successfully cloned and have since been used continually “for research that has touched nearly every realm of medicine,” lawyers for the estate said in a news release.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., of Waltham, Massachusetts, knowingly mass produced and sold tissue that was taken from Lacks by doctors at the hospital and “a racially unjust medical system,” her estate’s federal lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit asks the court in Baltimore to order Thermo Fisher Scientific to “disgorge the full amount of its net profits obtained by commercializing the HeLa cell line to the Estate of Henrietta Lacks.” It also seeks an order permanently enjoining Thermo Fisher Scientific from using the HeLa cell line without the estate’s permission.

On its website, the company says it generates approximately $35 billion in annual revenue. A company spokesman reached didn’t immediately comment on the lawsuit.

The remarkable science — and the impact on the Lacks family — have been documented in a bestselling book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. Oprah Winfrey portrayed her daughter in an HBO movie about the story.

A group of white doctors at Johns Hopkins in the 1950s preyed on Black women with cervical cancer, cutting away tissue samples from their patients’ cervixes without their patients’ knowledge or consent, the lawsuit says.

“The exploitation of Henrietta Lacks represents the unfortunately common struggle experienced by Black people throughout history,” the suit says. “Indeed, Black suffering has fueled innumerable medical progress and profit, without just compensation or recognition. Various studies, both documented and undocumented, have thrived off the dehumanization of Black people.”

Among the lawyers for the family’s estate is Ben Crump, a Florida-based civil rights attorney. Crump rose to national prominence in recent years for representing the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd — Black people whose deaths at the hands of police and vigilantes helped revitalize a national movement toward police reform and racial justice.

Johns Hopkins says it reviewed its interactions with Lacks and her family over more than 50 years after the 2010 publication of Skloot’s book.

“At several points across those decades, we found that Johns Hopkins could have — and should have — done more to inform and work with members of Henrietta Lacks’ family out of respect for them, their privacy and their personal interests,” Johns Hopkins says on its website.

See Complaint Below

The Estate are represented by National Civil Rights lawyers Ben Crump and Chris Seegers . One of the lawyer, Kim Parker, has also had numerous cases filed in Federal and State Court. Specifically:

Kim Parker, Esquire- According to her website, her practice focuses on counseling the firm’s clients regarding bankruptcy, personal injury and business matters. Prior to joining the Law Office of Kim Parker, P.A., Kim was a Trial Attorney with the Law Offices of Norris C. Ramsey, P.A., where she litigated various matters in the Circuit and District Courts of Maryland. Kim is an experienced Trial Attorney who has tried numerous cases in the District and before juries in Circuit Courts of Maryland. She is a well-respected lawyer and litigator. Ms. Parker is no stranger to civil rights cases. She represented Venus Green, a 90 year Baltimore Professor who was assaulted by the Baltimore City Police. Attorney Parker obtained a $95,000 settlement.

Press Conference Video

BREAKING NEWS——Baltimore police officers shoot and kills african-american man in mental health crisis standoff

On August 8, 2021, a Police Officer from the Baltimore City SWAT Unit, Jeffrey P. Archambault , shot and killed 40 year old Marcus Martin, who, based on facebook post and a gofundmepage setup by the family was having a mental health crisis, when Officer Archambault used force. We will update this story soon, once more information becomes available.

Civil Rights Lawyers Nationwide

At Supabutterfly, we are often times contacted by the public telling their stories about civil right abuses, at the hands of law enforcement, security guards, bouncers, etc.., and seeking help. We are not lawyers and cannot represent them in their respective matters, all we can do is report. In light of this, we are including some referrals of reputable lawyers that may be able to assist our visitors with redressing the violations complained of. We are including lawyers only in judicial hotspots for corruption and abuses.  

We are not affiliated with any of the law firms listed.

Alabama

Kira Fontenau, Esquire

The Law Offices of Kira Fontenau, LLC  

Practice Areas: Civil Rights, Police Brutality, Employment

States Licensed:  Alabama , Georgia  

Website: https://www.kirafonteneau.com/practice-areas-civil-rights/civil-rights-attoney/police-brutality/

Phone Number: 205-564-9005

Arizona

Garrick McFadden, Esq.

Gamesq, PLC

Practice Areas: Civil Rights, Personal Injury  

States Licensed:  Arizona

Website: https://gamesqlaw.com/

Phone Number: 623-233-4416

California

Zuli Ali, Esquire

The Law Offices of Zulu Ali and Associates, LLP

Practice Areas: Civil Rights, Negligent Security, Police Brutality, Personal Injury

States Licensed:  California  

Website: www.zulualilaw.com

Phone Number: 888-682-3049

Florida

Chris Lomax, Esq.

Lomax Legal

Practice Areas: Civil Rights, Criminal Defense, Civil Litigation  

States Licensed:  Florida  

Website: www.lomaxlegal.com

Phone Number: 305-582-6506

Georgia

Reginald Greene, Esquire

Green Legal Group LLC

Practice Areas: Civil Rights, Criminal, Police Brutality, Personal Injury

States Licensed:  Georgia  

Website: https://greenelegalgroup.com/the-firm/

Phone Number: 404-574-4308

Illinois

Basileios “Bill” J. Foutris, Esq.

Foutris Law Office LTD

Practice Areas: Civil Rights  (Police Brutality, Misconduct Only)

States Licensed:  Illinois  

Website: www.civilrightsattorneychicago.com

Phone Number: 312-212-1200

Maryland

Kim Parker, Esquire

The Law Offices of Kim Parker, P.A.

Practice Areas: Civil Rights, Negligent Security, Police Brutality, Personal Injury

States Licensed:  Maryland, District of Columbia

Website: www.kpcounsel.com

Phone Number: 410-234-2621

Minnesota

Kenneth Udoibok, Esq.

Kenneth  Ubong Udoibok, P.A.

Practice Areas: Civil Rights, Criminal Defense, Police Brutality, Employment  

States Licensed:  Minnesota  

Website: https://www.kenulaw.com/

Phone Number: 612-808-6031

New York

Lance Clarke, Esq.

Hamilton Clarke LLP

Practice Areas: Civil Rights, Criminal Defense, Police Brutality, Personal Injury

States Licensed:  New York, New Jersey  

Website: www.hamiltonclarkellp.com

Phone Number: 646-603-0522

North Carolina

Michael Littlejohn, Esq.

Littlejohn Law, PLLC

Practice Areas: Civil Rights, Police Brutality, Personal Injury

States Licensed:  North Carolina  

Website: https://www.littlejohn-law.com/

Phone Number: 704-322-4581

Texas

Shasta R. Brown, Esquire

The Law Offices of Shasta R. Brown

Practice Areas: Civil Rights, Negligent Security, Police Brutality, Personal Injury

States Licensed:  Texas

Phone Number: 214-333-3321

Verdict: Derek Chauvin Guilty For The Murder of George Floyd

We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident

There was a time when I followed trials and posted daily on this blog the videos or reports of what happened in court.  Although I still follow trials, I’m no longer able to write daily posts. 

I watched former Minneapolis, MN police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial.  When I was unable to watch live, I recorded it and watched in the evening.   The two most impressive witnesses for the prosecution, in my opinion, were George Floyd’s girlfriend Courtney Ross, and pulmonary expert Dr. Martin Tobin. 

Courtney Ross extinguished all demonizing of George’s opiate addiction.  Dr. Tobin calmly explained how George died, even pointing out when his brain stopped receiving oxygen and his body went into seizure. 

In this case, Derek Chauvin was held accountable for his decisions and actions that caused the death of George Floyd.  As his eyes darted back and forth, up and down, Chauvin heard verdicts on three…

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Republicans and Abortion

We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident

I’ve never been one to vote based on issues that are not relevant to my life or the betterment of this country, such as climate change.  For at least two decades, I’ve personally heard Republicans say they were voting for a politician because they are anti-abortion and/or anti-gay rights.  I always asked if they planned to have an abortion and if they are gay?  To that, they wanted to quote from the Bible, in which I had to remind them that the United States does not have a theocratic government.

Frankly, I’m tired of hearing Republicans say that they don’t understand how Christians can be Democrat when Democrats  made abortion legal in the United States.  That is simply not true.  At the time of Roe v. Wade, six (6) of the Justices on the Supreme Court were appointed by Republican presidents.

Voting because of wanting laws that control the lives…

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Congratulations President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris — 3CHICSPOLITICO

The voters have spoken, and they have chosen @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris to be our next president and vice president. It’s a history-making ticket, a repudiation of Trump, and a new page for America. Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen. Onward, together. pic.twitter.com/YlDY9TJONs — Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 7, 2020 My alarm clock […]

Congratulations President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris — 3CHICSPOLITICO

Disgraced Philadelphia Judge accused of improperly jailing parents in custody cases admits misconduct charges

Image result for Judge Lyris Younge

Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Lyris Younge, admitted in filings recently made public, to the allegations of judicial misconduct in cases before her in Family Court. In one case, that is the subject of the disciplinary proceedings, a litigant took ill during the proceedings and stepped out in the hallway. When she attempted to return, Younge refused to permit her entry, and terminated her parental rights in her absence. Younge is also accused of berating lawyers, social workers and other litigants in her short 4 year tenure on the bench. Once the disciplinary proceedings started, she was transferred to the Civil Division, were she presides over landlord tenant and other matters. It was reported that she Ordered a building full of tenants “EVICTED” with one weeks notice.

She should be thrown off the bench, and disbarred. She abused her position and has brought the entire profession into disrepute. She is a tyrant and a terrible example for Minority and Female Judges,

John Vandermolen, President of Tampa International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, and Branch Manager of PNC Bank allegedly discriminates against African-American Customers

 

 

Mugshot from 2010 DUI Arrest.

On August 18, 2019, Tatiana Marche Denson, of Tampa, Florida, filed a federal lawsuit in the US District Court for Middle District of Florida, against, PNC Bank, N.A., alleging that they violated Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, when, John Mark Vandermolen, an Tampa Branch Manager, allegedly discriminated against her when she tried to open a business account.

It is alleged that on August 29, 2018, Ms. Denson met with Mr. Vandermolen at the PNC Fowler Avenue location, in Tampa. When Mr. Vandermolen saw Ms. Denson, he allegedly gave her a suggestive look, and was “cold, rude and demeaning” toward her, which her complaint states was because of her race, African-American. Ms. Denson allegedly provided Mr. Vandermolen two forms of identification, tax id paperwork and her Articles of Organization, which was drafted by her attorneys and filed with the State of Florida.

Not happy with the documentation provided, Mr. Vandermolen, allegedly began questioning why the IRS would give her a letter, and why was her business setup in a particular way. The complaint goes on to allege that Mr. Vandermolen allegedly criticized her business name, business goals, and how she intended to operate her business. Mr. Vandermolen allegedly demanded to know the types of artist Ms. Denson intended to represent. He did so, allegedly, in a demanding and condescending manner, because of Ms. Denson’s race.

Sometime during the forty-five-minute exchange, Ms. Denson requested to speak with someone else. Mr. Vandermolen refused, and instructed Ms. Denson to leave his office. As Ms. Denson tried to record the interaction, Mr. Vandermolen got up from his seat, took a defensive posture, and attempted to grab Ms. Denson’s phone. Mr. Vandermolen instructed his staff to contact the police, because Ms. Denson was getting “Loud and Violent”. After the Police Officer arrived, they determined that there was no disturbance as alleged by Mr. Vandermolen.

On November 18, 2019, Joshua Prever, of Holland & Knight, LLP, filed an Answer to the Complaint, where PNC categorically deny the allegations espoused by Ms. Denson. Additionally, PNC argues that the video and audio evidence refutes Ms. Denson’s “self-serving” complaint.  Interestingly, PNC admits to the exchange with Ms. Denson with regard to Mr. Vandermolen’s cross-examination of Ms. Denson with regard to her business dealings. PNC has argued in its pleadings, that Mr. Vandermolen was justified in his questioning of Ms. Denson, because he has a duty to comply with “Know Your Customer” regulations.

Ms. Denson’s complaint requests unspecified damages. She is represented by Yechezkel Rodal.

FLORIDA JUDGE VEGINA T. HAWKINS SUSPENDED WITHOUT PAY ON A PER CURIAM BASIS FOR ALLEGEDLY CHOKING A COURTROOM CLERK

Image result for FLORIDA JUDGE VEGINA T. HAWKINS

On July 18, 2019, the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission filed formal charges against Judge Vegina Hawkins, after video of her allegedly choking a courtroom deputy surfaced.  The charges stated that on June 11, 2019, Judge Hawkins instigated a physical confrontation with a court employee, by “placing her hands around the neck of the employee and shook him”. The alleged choking occurred because of Judge Hawkin’s alleged frustration over the court employee not having her docket available for her in the morning. On July 19, 2019, The Supreme Court of Florida, suspended Judge Hawkins, without pay, pending disposition of the proceedings.

See video of the incident below.

 

 

 

Illinois Lawyer Rene Hernandez Suspended from The Practice of Law for 60 Days As a Result of Him Misrepresenting Facts In A Motion and Lying to A Judge.

SUSPENDED FROM THE PRACTICE OF LAW 

Related image
Rene Hernandez

On October 6, 2019, the Illinois Supreme Court ordered Mr. Hernandez to serve a 60 day suspension of his law license, effective immediately, for lying to a judge, and filing pleadings with false information in them.

Kamille ‘Cupcake’ McKinney’s Found Murdered

***Breaking News****

Image result for kamille cupcake

The body of Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney, the 3-year-old girl who was abducted in Birmingham on Oct. 12, was found inside of a dumpster at a landfill, Police Chief Patrick Smith said Tuesday night. Patrick Stallworth and Derick Brown have been charged with capital murder and kidnapping in connection with her death.  Our prayers and thoughts go out to Kamille’s entire family.

Rest In Peace Kamille!