Johnson & Johnson has announced that it is withdrawing all talc baby powder products that are sold in the United States and Canada from the market. J&J, the world’s largest maker of health care products, faces thousands of lawsuits alleging that the talc in its powders caused cancer.
The company says that demand for its talc-based powders is declining, and blames that change in consumer habits on what it calls “misinformation around the safety of the product“. Investigations published by Reuters and The New York Times in 2018 showed that Johnson & Johnson knew that its talc contained asbestos, a cancer risk, for four decades.
While Johnson & Johnson has claimed that the talc it sold was asbestos-free, internal company documents show that Johnson & Johnson received many reports over the years, starting in 1971, that its talc contained asbestos. Although J&J never turned the many reports they received over to the FDA or any other governmental regulatory agency, internally the company’s doctors, lawyers, scientists, mine managers, and executives discussed the asbestos problem.
There are approximately 19,400 cases pending against Johnson & Johnson nationwide claiming using J&J talc products caused cancer, including baby powder and Shower to Shower powder. There are two cancers that have been linked to talc powder: ovarian cancer, thought to be related to using talc powder for feminine hygiene purposes, and mesothelioma, a type of cancer related to exposure to asbestos.
Over one billion dollars in verdicts have been issued against Johnson & Johnson in trials of these talc cancer cases. There have been 15 trial verdicts issued against J&J; they have successfully defended 12 trials, and 7 resulted in mistrials. All of those trial wins were appealed and some of those appeals have been successful.
Johnson & Johnson has a cornstarch baby powder on the market, which will continue to be sold. Retailers will be allowed to sell the remaining Johnson & Johnson talc powder products that are in stock. J&J also plans to continue to sell talc baby powder to the rest of the world.
Women who use talcum powder are recommended to switch to arrowroot, cornstarch, or any other non-talc powder. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer after using talc powder, call the talcum powder lawyers at Thornton Law Firm for a confidential, no-charge consultation. Thornton Law Firm has represented victims of asbestos exposure for 40 years. Call 1-888-341-1405 or tell us your story online for a thorough, comprehensive evaluation of your legal rights. If you have developed cancer and believe your cancer is related to your use of baby powder or other talc powder, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Do not delay seeking legal advice.
The judge overseeing the talcum powder ovarian cancer cases against Johnson & Johnson has ruled that the cases can go forward to trial in federal court. Johnson & Johnson had filed motions asking that every plaintiff’s expert be disqualified from testifying. In the first ruling on the admissibility of expert evidence in the federal talcum powder multi-district litigation (MDL), U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson ruled that five plaintiff’s experts (two of whom have testified before Congress) can testify at trial.
The judge ruled that the plaintiffs can present testimony that the talc in J&J’s products could be contaminated with asbestos. Plaintiffs can also present expert testimony that J&J’s baby powder products cause ovarian cancer, based on epidemiological studies. The experts will be allowed to testify that the cancer link could be caused by asbestos and/or heavy metals.
The judge ruled that experts may not testify that talc by itself causes ovarian cancer. She also ruled that experts may testify that talcum powder reaches the ovaries when used vaginally, but that they cannot testify that talc reaches the ovaries via inhalation.
The judge’s ruling also allowed Johnson & Johnson to present the testimony of three experts.
No trials have been held in the federal court talcum powder cancer cases filed against J&J. However, several lawsuits against cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson over their talcum powder products have already gone to trial in state courts around the country, including one in St. Louis, Missouri, involving 22 plaintiffs. That case resulted in a record $4.69 billion talc verdict against J&J in July 2018, which the company is appealing. In total Johnson & Johnson faces more than 16,000 cases nationwide.
In addition, Johnson & Johnson faces a federal criminal investigation into whether the company was honest with consumers about what it knew about talc and cancer.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder you may have a legal claim for damages. Call Thornton Law Firm’s talcum powder cancer attorney, Marnie McGoldrick, for a no-cost, no-obligation evaluation of your legal claim at 1-888-341-1405. Or tell us your story here. Seek legal advice immediately if you believe you may have a claim. Like all lawsuits, talc baby powder lawsuits must be filed within strict time limits.
The Johnson and Johnson subsidiary Ethicon has been ordered to pay $343.99 million dollars for deceptively marketing vaginal mesh products in the state of California. San Diego County Superior Court judge Eddie Sturgeon ruled that the deceptive marketing was intended to deceive doctors and tens of thousands patients about the risks and dangers of the vaginal mesh products.
California’s suit charged Johnson & Johnson with violating the state’s false advertising and unfair competition laws. The California Attorney General asked for a fine of $800 million. In the lawsuit, the California Justice Department said that its years-long-investigation had shown that Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit failed to inform patients and doctors of the possible severe complications and risks of using the mesh products, and misrepresented the severity and frequency of those risks. The trial last two months; Judge Sturgeon’s 88 page verdict was issued four months later.
The court found that Johnson & Johnson had deceptively marketed two products: Tension-free Vaginal Tape, or TVT, which was first sold in 1998 to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI), and the Prolift, sold beginning in 2005 to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP). These meshes were implanted in women via incisions in the vagina, and after implantation the mesh often eroded, causing a host of problems including pain, infection, vaginal bleeding or discharge, urinary problems, severe pelvic or groin pain, pain during intercourse, and even organ perforation from mesh eroding into surrounding tissue.
Ethicon discontinued four mesh products for vaginal use in 2012. Ethicon did not recall vaginal mesh products that were already sold or implanted, and some of their mesh products were relabeled for abdominal implantation only. The FDA banned all vaginal mesh products in 2019.
California is the first state to go to trial alleging deceptive marketing of vaginal mesh implants by J&J’s Ethicon. Other states with pending litigation against Ethicon are Kentucky, Mississippi, Oregon, and West Virginia. Forty-two other states had already settled their claims against Ethicon for a total of $117 million dollars, and the state of Washington settled for $9.9 million.
Johnson & Johnson sold more than 470,000 pelvic mesh products nationally between 2008 and 2004. More than 30,000 were sold in California. Around the world, more than 2 million women have had these vaginal mesh implants. In the United States, more than 35,000 lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson for defective vaginal mesh damages and injuries.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued this statement on the verdict: “Johnson & Johnson intentionally concealed the risks of its pelvic mesh implant devices. It robbed women and their doctors of their ability to make informed decisions about whether to permanently implant the products in patients’ bodies,” he said. “Today we achieved justice for the women and families forever scarred by Johnson & Johnson’s dishonesty.”
Ethicon and Johnson and Johnson have announced plans to appeal.
The case is California v. Johnson & Johnson et al., case number 37-2016-00017229-CU-MC-CTL, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Diego.
If you have implanted mesh for any medical reason and are having any symptoms connected with the implant you should contact your doctor immediately. Do not delay seeking medical attention if you have any symptoms you believe are related to your mesh implant.
To discuss your legal options regarding your mesh implant, call the vaginal mesh lawyers at Thornton Law Firm at 888-491-9726 to talk with Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick. You can also tell us your story online for a confidential, free evaluation of your claim. All legal claims have strict time limits for filing so call now if you believe you have a case.
A Middlesex County New Jersey jury awarded four sets of plaintiffs $37 million dollars against Johnson & Johnson for mesothelioma caused by talc baby powder. The consolidated trial lasted almost three months, and at the end, the judge struck the Johnson & Johnson attorney’s entire closing argument, ruling that the attorney had made improper comments on the evidence.
The jury’s unanimous verdict was that all of the plaintiffs had been exposed to asbestos by using Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder and Shower to Shower talcum powders contaminated with asbestos. The jury also unanimously ruled that J&J failed to warn the plaintiffs about the dangers of its talcum body powders. In a 5-1 vote, the jury ruled that those actions caused the plaintiffs’ mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare and fatal cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
The award is for compensatory damages only. Punitive damages may be awarded in a separate phase of the trial. Plaintiffs Douglas Barden and his wife, Roslyn Barden were awarded $7.25 million; David Etheridge and his wife, Darlene Etheridge were awarded $9.45 million; D’Angela McNeill was awarded $14.7 million; and William Ronning and his wife, Elizabeth Ronning. were awarded $5.9 million.
Johnson & Johnson had previously asked for a mistrial based on the trial judge striking its counsel’s closing argument from the record; after the verdict was announced, Johnson & Johnson said they intend to appeal the decision. Johnson & Johnson faces over 10,000 talc-related cancer claims in both federal and state courts. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the United States Department of Justice subpoenaed Johnson & Johnson in February for documents on talc powder safety. This followed a Reuters report published in December of 2018 entitled “Special Report: J&J knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder”.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer – either mesothelioma or ovarian cancer – after using talcum powder (including Johnson & Johnson’s Shower to Shower Powder, baby powder, Colgate’s Cashmere Bouquet, or Avon’s body powder products), you may have a legal claim for damages. Call Thornton Law Firm’s female mesothelioma attorneys, Leah McMorris or Leslie-Anne Taylor for a free, no obligation evaluation of your legal claim at 1-888-341-1405. Or tell us your story here. Seek legal advice immediately if you believe you may have a claim. Like all lawsuits, baby powder lawsuits must be filed within strict time limits.