Judge Hears Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit from Henrietta Lacks’ Family Against Biotech Company

A federal judge on Tuesday heard a motion to dismiss the lawsuit against a biotech company by the family of Henrietta Lacks. The judge’s deliberation could take weeks.

Henrietta Lacks is a Baltimore woman whose cells were taken without her permission decades ago, and they are still being used for medical research today.

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“These cells were taken away from her body like she was a lab rat, an experiment and no one even reached out to the family to let them know anything has taken place.

Lacks’ family is represented by nationally-renowned civil rights attorney Ben Crump and Chris Seeger, who filed suit against Thermo Fisher Scientific last October. The lawsuit alleges the company knowingly mass-produced and sold tissue taken from Lacks by Johns Hopkins doctors.

Lacks went to Johns Hopkins in 1951 for cervical cancer treatment. When her cancer cells were biopsied, doctors realized that instead of dying, her cells doubled every 20 to 24 hours.

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SOURCE: CBS Baltimore, Ava-joye Burnett

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