On Henrietta Lacks’ 103rd birthday, nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump and the family of Henrietta Lacks will hold a news conference to announce a settlement. The lawsuit was filed against Thermo Fisher by Attorney Ben Crump and Attorney Chris Seeger of Seeger Weiss on behalf of the Estate of Henrietta Lacks in 2021.

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The Lacks family also thanked U.S. Congressmen Kweisi Mfume, Chris Van Hollen, and Ben Cardin for introducing legislation to honor Henrietta Lacks with the Congressional Gold Medal. This recognition acknowledges her significant contributions to medicine and the world.

Attorneys Crump and Seeger released the following statement to The Source:


“Members of the family of Henrietta Lacks and Thermo Fisher have agreed to settle the litigation filed by Henrietta Lacks’ Estate, in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. The terms of the agreement will be confidential. The parties are pleased that they were able to find a way to resolve this matter outside of Court and will have no further comment about the settlement.”

The settlement indicates the first of many complaints involving compensation for Lacks’ “HeLa” cells, which were the world’s first that could be replicated outside the body. Lacks’ cells were taken while she received cervical cancer treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She would die months after the treatment as it was ineffective against her cancer.

Lacks’ cells were believed to need consent for the use, and according to The Baltimore Banner, Thermo Fisher Scientific officials believed the legal action was too late. Lacks’ cells were used to develop polio and COVID-19 vaccines, among other treatments.

About The Author

Senior Editor

Shawn Grant is a Chicago native and the Senior Editor of The Source Magazine. He can only be found on Instagram and Twitter at @shawnxgrant.

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