Trillions of her cells have played a pivotal role in medical research for the past 60 years, but Henrietta Lacks’s story was virtually unknown until it became the subject of a best-selling book in 2010 and an HBO movie starring Oprah Winfrey seven years later.
On Monday, the family of the Black tobacco farmer, who died in 1951, filed a federal lawsuit accusing Thermo Fisher Scientific, a Massachusetts-based maker of lab equipment and materials, of unfairly profiting off her cells. And a day later, Christopher Seeger, a member of the family’s legal team said the company is only “the first of many” the family plans to sue for unjust enrichment.
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