Johnson & Johnson Sets Aside Nearly $4 Billion for Talcum Powder Verdict
A New Jersey appeals court’s decision to revive two lawsuits accusing Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder of causing cancer may lead to the reinstatement of about 1,000 lawsuits targeting these talcum powder products. According to a Bloomberg news report, a three-judge panel of the New Jersey Superior Court last month said that a trial court judge erroneously threw out expert testimony backing up claims by two women that talc caused their ovarian cancers, clearing the cases for trial. The ruling could also have an impact on other talcum powder lawsuits that are on hold before the same judge.
Talc Lawsuits Can Go to Trial
This ruling paves the way for about 1,000 talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits that are currently filed in New Jersey state court (with more to come) to proceed to trial. Johnson & Johnson is headquartered in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The company attempted to transfer most talc litigation to its state with the belief that it might have a home-court advantage.
Johnson & Johnson pulled its Baby Powder talcum powder products off the market in the United States and Canada in May. The number of cases alleging these talcum powder products causes cancer continues to increase, climbing 15% over the last eight months. The company now faces more than 20,000 talcum powder lawsuits, some claiming that the talc itself causes cancer and others saying that asbestos contamination in talc causes a rare form of cancer known as mesothelioma. Experts say the growing number of cases may force J&J to pay as much as $10 billion to resolve the lawsuits.
Talcum Powder and Cancer
Johnson & Johnson and its team of attorneys are still continuing to maintain that there is no confirmed link between their talcum powder products and the risk of ovarian cancer. However, there have been various studies since the 1970s and 1980s, which have suggested a link. The company ignored those studies and continued to aggressively market and sell these products to women with slogans like: “A spritz a day keeps the odor away.”
A more recent study reemphasizes this connection. Researchers at the Tisch Cancer Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan published their study in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention. They looked at 24 previously published statistical analyses and studies with data on more than 300,000 women with ovarian cancer and concluded that there was a statistically significant link between talcum powder products and ovarian cancer.
If you or a loved one has developed cancer as a result of using talcum powder products, please contact an experienced product defect lawyer who can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Victims may be able to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of surgery, rehabilitation, and pain and suffering.