As reported in The Boston Globe on June 25, 2010, US District Court Judge Nancy Gertner granted class certification in a case where a team of attorneys for the class, including Todd & Weld, are seeking a medical monitoring program through new technology for older heavy smokers who are not yet diagnosed with lung cancer. The plaintiffs believe that the use of a Low Dose Cat Scan will detect precancerous cells at an early stage to increase the survival rate to over 80%. Current chest x-rays detect cancerous cells at a later stage resulting in a survival rate of only about 20%.
In an interview with The Boston Globe, Christopher Weld, Jr. of Todd & Weld explained that the tests typically cost $400-$500 a year, but many health plans do not cover them. “It's a terrific decision for our class,” Weld said. “It allows the case to go forward on a group basis, which is critical.”
Jonathan Saltzman, writer for The Boston Globe, said that according to the American Cancer Society, “Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men and women and is one of the most difficult cancers to treat. . . . It is very hard to detect when it is in the earliest, most treatable stage.”