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.
Published on June 13, 2019
A California state court jury awarded $12 million dollars in damages to a 72-year old woman dying of mesothelioma. The jury found that it was more likely than not that Johnson & Johnson’s Shower to Shower and Colgate’s Cashmere Bouquet talc powders contained the carcinogen asbestos, and that the asbestos in those powders caused Schmitz’s cancer. Johnson & Johnson and Colgate are responsible for almost $10 million of that award. The jury voted in plaintiff Patricia Schmitz’s favor on her claims of negligence, design defect, failure to warn and concealment, but they were unable to reach a decision on whether punitive damages were warranted, or on her claim that J&J intentionally misrepresented its powders as “pure”. This is the 11th verdict against Johnson and Johnson in a baby powder claim.
Patricia Schmitz, a former fifth grade teacher, testified that she used Johnson & Johnson and Colgate body powders for most of her life. Specifically, she said that she used either J&J’s baby powder or Colgate-Palmolive’s Cashmere Bouquet after showering. She also testified that she purchased Avon’s Night Magic talc powder as a young woman.
The jury awarded a total of $12 million damages to Ms. Schmitz, and allocated 40% of the responsibility for her damages to Johnson & Johnson, and another 40% of the responsibility to Colgate. Avon was allocated 20% of the responsibility, but they were not a defendant at trial.
The case is captioned as Schmitz v. Johnson & Johnson, No. RG18923615, Superior Court of the State of California, Alameda County (Oakland). J&J and Colgate both announced plans to appeal the verdict. Schmidt’s trial counsel said that he would appeal the jury’s failure to award punitive damages.
Johnson & Johnson face an additional 14,000 talc-related cancer claims according to a May regulatory filing. In February, J&J received subpoenas from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the United States Department of Justice seeking documents on the safety of its talc powders.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer after using Johnson & Johnson or Colgate talc powders (including Shower to Shower Powder, baby powder, or Cashmere Bouquet), you may have a legal claim for damages. Call Thornton Law Firm’s female mesothelioma attorneys, Leah McMorris or Leslie-Anne Taylor for a confidential, free evaluation of your legal claim at 1-888-341-1405. Or tell us your story here to discuss your legal rights and how you should proceed. Do not delay seeking legal advice. Like all legal claims, talc powder lawsuits have short time limits within which they must be filed.
A New York state court jury ruled in favor of a woman in her suit against Johnson & Johnson alleging her mesothelioma was caused by her many years of exposure to J&J’s asbestos-containing talc powder. The jury awarded plaintiff Donna Olson, 66, and husband Robert Olson $25 million in compensatory damages – $20 million for her pain and suffering, and $5 million for his loss of consortium. The jury also found Johnson & Johnson’s conduct was wanton and reckless, warranting an award of $300 million in punitive damages.
The lawsuit was filed in 2017, alleging daily use of J&J’s baby powder and scented Shower to Shower products from 1953 through 2015. Donna Olson was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in 2016. As part of her treatment, one of her lungs was removed. She was too ill to attend the trial. Her husband testified that it was her daily ritual to use Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder after she showered.
The jury rejected J&J claims that there was no asbestos in its powders. Instead, the jury found the company had been aware of the presence of asbestos in talcum powder for decades, yet had failed to warn consumers.
Beginning in 2009, lawsuits were filed in state and federal courts throughout the country alleging talc-based powders caused cancer. Trials against Johnson & Johnson alleging its talc-based powders caused cancer first began in 2013. This New York verdict is the 10th win for talc plaintiffs. It is the largest verdict in a claim that J&J talc powder contained asbestos and that asbestos caused the deadly asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma.
Johnson & Johnson announced plans to appeal the verdict. They face over 14,000 talc-related cancer claims according to a regulatory filing in May. In February, J&J received subpoenas from the United States Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission seeking documents on the safety of its talc products.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer after using Johnson & Johnson talc powder (including baby powder and Shower to Shower Powder), you may have a legal claim for damages. Call Thornton Law Firm’s mesothelioma attorneys, Leah McMorris or Leslie-Anne Taylor for a confidential, no-obligation evaluation of your legal rights at 1-888-341-1405. Or tell us your story here to discuss your legal claim and how you should proceed. Do not delay seeking legal advice. Like all legal claims, talc powder lawsuits have short, strictly enforced time limits for filing.
Published on May 28, 2019
A Philadelphia jury ordered Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, to pay $80 million dollars to a woman who was injured by her Prolift transvaginal mesh implant. The verdict included an award of $50 million dollars in punitive damages. This is the 10th mesh-related case tried in Philadelphia and the 8th verdict in favor of plaintiffs.
Patricia Mesigian was implanted with Ethicon’s Prolift mesh in 2008 when she was 64. The implant was intended to treat her pelvic organ prolapse, a condition where the muscles supporting the organs weaken allowing the organs to drop down and press on or into the vagina. Instead of treating her condition, the implant caused her vaginal bleeding and pain, discomfort during sex, infection, and inflammation. Eventually the mesh eroded into her vagina and she endured 5 surgeries and two chemical burn treatments in an attempt to remove the mesh which was embedded in scar tissue.
The jury deliberated two days before reaching its verdict. They found the Prolift implant was defective and that the defendants failed to adequately describe the risks. The jury awarded Ms. Mesigian $30 million in compensatory damages.
This is the second verdict against Ethicon in less than one month. An Altoona woman was awarded $120 million in April for the defective mesh she was implanted with to treat urinary incontinence. The verdict comes in the wake of the FDA’s decision to ban the last two manufacturers of pelvic mesh, Boston Scientific and Coloplast, from selling or distributing mesh products for transvaginal repair of pelvic organ prolapse in the United States. The FDA said that the manufacturers were unable to show that the products were safe or effective for the treatment of organ prolapse, compared to repair procedure using native tissues. Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit stopped selling the Prolift transvaginal mesh implants in 2012.
J&J’s Ethicon issued a statement saying that the verdict was “inconsistent with the science” and that they plan to appeal.
Any woman who has mesh implanted to treat pelvic organ prolapse who is having any symptoms connected with the implant should contact her doctor immediately. The injuries caused by defective transvaginal mesh may include vaginal bleeding or discharge, severe pelvic or groin pain, infection, pain during sexual intercourse, urinary problems, or perforated organs from mesh eroding into surrounding tissues. Do not delay seeking medical attention if you have any symptoms you believe are related to your transvaginal mesh implant.
If you would like to explore your legal options regarding your mesh implant, call the transvaginal 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.
Posted on March 19, 2019
A California jury awarded $29 million to a woman dying from mesothelioma cancer in her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, attributing her development of the asbestos-linked cancer to her use of J&J baby powder.
Plaintiff Teresa Leavitt, the mother of two children, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2017. She is not expected to live beyond 2020, according to testimony of her doctors. The jury awarded her $2.49 million in past and future lost economic damages as well as $22 million for noneconomic damages past and future. Her husband was awarded $5 million for loss of consortium. No punitive damages were awarded.
Ms. Leavitt testified that baby powder was used on her when she was a child. As an adult, she continued to use J&J baby powder, as a “dry shampoo” or on her face as a foundation for her makeup.
Her lawyers introduced evidence that Johnson & Johnson learned of the presence of asbestos in talc mined in Vermont and Italy, but never alerted government regulators or consumers. No warning label about the presence or hazards of asbestos has ever been placed on Johnson & Johnson talc powders, including J&J Shower to Shower and baby powders.
The jury found J&J’s actions a substantial contributing factor in causing Leavitt’s mesothelioma. They also found that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn her of the cancer risk in using their products and intentionally withheld facts about the safety of their product. . The state court jury of seven men and five women included an attorney and a state court judge.
The plaintiffs were represented by trial attorneys Joseph Satterley and Denyse Clancy of Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood, Oakland, California, and Moshe Maimon of Levy Konigsberg LLP, New York, New York.
Johnson & Johnson has announced plans to appeal the verdict. It faces another 13,000 similar cases across the country.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson talc powder (including baby powder and Shower to Shower Powder), you may have a legal claim. Call Thornton Law Firm’s baby powder attorneys, female mesothelioma lawyers Marilyn McGoldrick, Leah McMorris and Leslie-Anne Taylor for a confidential, free evaluation of your legal rights at 1-888-341-1405. Or tell us your story here to discuss your legal claim and how you should proceed.
Published December 17, 2018
Johnson & Johnson documents confirm they knew since at least 1971 that their talc powders contained asbestos
A new report by Reuters makes public the fact that cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson knew since at least 1971 that its talc powders including baby powder contained asbestos.
Thornton Law Firm wrote on this blog last year about the cover-up revealed by many of the same documents Reuters reviewed. The documents were produced in talc powder cancer lawsuits against J&J over the past few years: Johnson & Johnson Knew of Asbestos Risk In Talc For Over Forty Years. Since that blog post was published, an additional 6,000 claims have been filed against Johnson and Johnson alleging cancer developed after using their talc powder products.
For over 40 years, Johnson & Johnson has maintained that the talc in their powders including Baby Powder and Shower to Shower powder were asbestos-free. But Johnson & Johnson’s own internal documents present much evidence that this is just untrue.
J&J receives reports of asbestos in talc beginning in 1957
Johnson & Johnson’s earliest reports of asbestos in talc are from 1957 and 1958 when a consulting lab’s studies of the Italian talc used in J&J Baby Powder showed fibrous and “acicular,” or needle-like, tremolite. Tremolite is an amphibole asbestos, often found along with other minerals in nature.
Internal discussion of asbestos in talc, but never reported to authorities
Over the years, Johnson & Johnson executives, scientists, mine managers, doctors and lawyers discussed the asbestos problem internally but never reported it to federal authorities.
Johnson & Johnson failed to disclose tests by three separate labs between 1972 and 1975 showed asbestos in talc to the FDA, instead telling the FDA that all its powders tested asbestos-free. One of the tests reported the asbestos level as “rather high”.
J&J works to suppress the public’s knowledge of asbestos in their talc powders
Arthur Langer and Irving Selikoff, scientists well known to asbestos victims for their research on the dangers of asbestos, both told Johnson & Johnson that they found asbestos in its talc. In response, J&J put the two famous researchers on a list of “antagonistic personalities” in a November 29, 1972 memo.
In 1973 Johnson and Johnson considered getting patents for a process that would separate talc from tremolite, but decided against obtaining the patents. The director of research for J&J’s Central Research Laboratories in New Jersey, Tom Shelley, wrote this explanation to a J&J lawyer:
“We will want to carefully consider the … patents re asbestos in talc. It’s quite possible that we may wish to keep the whole thing confidential rather than allow it to be published in patent form and thus let the whole world know.”
Johnson & Johnson rejected the most sensitive test for finding asbestos in talc, then based on the less sensitive tests claimed (and continue to claim) their talc is asbestos-free.
For years the American Cancer Society accepted the representations of industry that talc products were asbestos-free. The ACS website said flatly “All talcum products used in homes have been asbestos-free since the 1970s.” But after being contacted by Reuters , in December the ACS revised its website. Now it says that under industry guidelines, talc products “should be free from detectable amounts of asbestos.” See the change on the website here.
Many talc samples and baby powder samples test positive for asbestos
Baby powders that when tested were found to contain asbestos included:
- A bottle of 1978 baby powder from Johnson & Johnson’s own J&J museum;
- Bottles from plaintiffs’ cupboards;
- Shower to Shower talc powder from the 1990s;
- Bottles purchased on Ebay.
Judge Accuses J&J of “Misrepresentation by Omission”
This year a New Jersey judge, Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Ana Viscomi, upheld a jury verdict again Johnson & Johnson. In her ruling in favor of the plaintiff with cancer, she stated:
“Providing the FDA favorable results showing no asbestos and withholding or failing to provide unfavorable results, which show asbestos, is a form of a misrepresentation by omission,”
Johnson & Johnson has begun to change their statements on asbestos in talc powders
While Johnson & Johnson’s website used to say their talc powders have always been asbestos free, that statement has been changed. Now the site says “Our talc-based consumer products are (we cannot say always) asbestos free, as confirmed by regular testing since the 1970s.”
What can you do?
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after using talcum powder (including baby powder and Shower to Shower Powder), you may have a claim for damages. Contact Thornton Law Firm’s defective product attorneys for a confidential, free evaluation of your legal rights at 1-888-341-1405. Or tell us your story here to find out your legal rights and how you should proceed.
Trust our Massachusetts talcum powder attorneys to help
Call Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick at 1-888-341-1405 or tell her your story online for a free consultation with a recognized leader in Massachusetts personal injury litigation. We offer a fair and accurate assessment of your case. You have nothing to risk.
Published December 14, 2018
Thornton Law Firm LLP is investigating potential violations of the federal securities laws on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE ticker: JNJ) regarding recent revelations that J&J knew about asbestos in its baby powder and talcum powder products dating back several decades. Shareholders who purchased or acquired Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) securities, including common stock, may have a claim to recover losses against J&J based on recent revelations concerning asbestos in its baby powder and talcum powder products.
If you purchased Johnson & Johnson stock, ticker JNJ, you may have a claim for damages. Contact Thornton Law Firm’s shareholder attorneys immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (617) 720-1333, or toll-free at 1-800-431-4600.
We will respond immediately to your inquiry and diligently assist you in investigating whether J&J committed securities fraud, and determine if you are eligible to recover.
According to media reports, including Reuters, alleged J&J internal documents suggest the Company and its executives have known for decades that its baby powder or talcum powder products caused cancer and contained asbestos. Johnson & Johnson asbestos allegations are the focus of this potential lawsuit.
Thornton Law Firm’s securities attorneys specialize in representing individual shareholders and institutional investors in recovering damages caused by corporate fraud. Its attorneys have decades of experience litigating securities fraud cases in courts throughout the country and have a proven track record of recovering losses on behalf of shareholders. This press release may be considered Attorney Advertising in some jurisdictions under the applicable law and rules of ethics. Prior results do not guarantee any future outcome.
UPDATE: The trial judge, Judge Rex Burlison, upheld the verdict on appeal, stating that “substantial evidence was adduced at trial of particularly reprehensible conduct” and that the jury was entitled to draw the conclusion from the evidence that Johnson & Johnson “knew of the presence of asbestos in products that they knowingly targeted for sale to mothers and babies, knew of the damage their products caused, and misrepresented the safety of these products for decades.”
Published July 18, 2018
Twenty-two women who had ovarian cancer were awarded a total of $4.69 billion dollars in their claims against Johnson & Johnson. All the cancer-stricken women had used Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and Shower-to-Shower talcum powder for many years. This is by far the largest verdict against Johnson & Johnson in a talc cancer case to date. The Missouri state court jury awarded a total of $550 million in compensatory damages to the women, and added a punitive damage award of $4.14 billion dollars. It is the largest verdict in a jury trial in the United States in 2018.
The plaintiffs presented evidence about the carcinogenic properties of both talc and asbestos. A 1971 article about talc and carcinoma of the ovary and cervix was introduced as evidence. The plaintiffs presented evidence that Johnson & Johnson’s talc products also contained asbestos. They disputed Johnson & Johnson’s tests showing its talc didn’t contain asbestos, presenting evidence that the tests were rigged by only finding asbestos if a certain level was present, or testing extremely small sample sizes. Evidence presented indicating that if tests did find asbestos, Johnson and Johnson then sent the talc to a different lab for testing. Memos and reports were introduced from Johnson & Johnson scientists going back decades showing concern over asbestos in the talc in J&J’s powders.
This verdict is the latest in a series of verdicts against Johnson and Johnson in talc cancer cases. Five previous cases were tried against J&J in St. Louis, and four resulted in verdicts for the plaintiff. Individual verdicts in favor of the plaintiffs of $55 million dollars and $72 million dollars were reversed after the United States Supreme Court issued a new decision on the issue of personal jurisdiction. The other two verdicts, for $110 million dollars and $70 million dollars are still on appeal. In California, a jury awarded the plaintiff a $417 million verdict, in a talc ovarian cancer case, but that verdict was reversed by the trial judge.
One juror interviewed after this verdict stated that the punitive damages amount, $4.14 billion, was calculated by multiplying the annual revenue from baby powder ($70 million) by the number of years Johnson & Johnson had known talc was an issue. Punitive damages in Missouri are limited by state law to five times the amount of actual damages, so the punitive damage award will be reduced. Johnson and Johnson has indicated it will appeal the verdict.
It is recommended that women who use talcum powder switch to arrowroot, cornstarch, or any other non-talc powder. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder, call the talc 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 Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick at 1-888-341-1405 or tell us your story online for a thorough, comprehensive evaluation of your legal rights. If you have developed ovarian cancer, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Personal injury claims have very short time limits that are strictly enforced by the courts. Do not put off getting a legal opinion.
Call 888-491-9726 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in toxic exposure litigation. You can also contact us online to discuss the details of your case.
Published on September 25, 2017
Johnson & Johnson was alerted to the risk of asbestos contamination of its talc in a 1973 company report about J&J’s Windsor Materials talc mine in Vermont. The document was recently produced in a deposition of Johnson & Johnson’s chief medical officer, Joanne Waldstreicher, and reported by Bloomberg.
The 1973 report noted that J&J was working with federal officials to look for fibers that could indicate asbestos was present at the Windsor Materials talc mine. The report goes on to discuss the significance of this:
A J&J official said in that report that the company’s baby powder “contains talc fragments classifiable as fiber. Occasionally sub-trace quantities of” two types of asbestos “are identifiable and these might be classified as asbestos fiber.’’
Concerned that asbestos may have tainted talc used in the company’s products, a J&J official suggested the company move toward using corn starch in its consumer products rather than talc, according to the report.
Another unsealed document shows that J&J pushed its Italian talc mine to stop distributing a booklet that revealed the presence of trace amounts of asbestos in the talc J&J was buying from them. The owners of the Val Chisone mine near Turin, Italy were persuaded by J&J to stop distributing the English version of the booklet so Johnson and Johnson could rewrite it. J&J’s Waldstreicher was asked about the rewritten booklet, from which all references to asbestos had been removed. She had never seen it.
Waldstreicher was also asked about whether Johnson & Johnson should have warned consumers:
“Would you agree that if asbestos is in the product, you all ought to be warning people?’’ [the plaintiff’s attorney] asked. At first, Waldstreicher responded that it was a “hypothetical question.” Eventually, she conceded.
“I would like to be warned before I were around any cancer-causing substance,’’
Johnson and Johnson has never warned consumers of any risk in using its talc powders. The unsealed documents show that instead J&J employees were trained to reassure anyone who asked about asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s powders that asbestos “has never been found and it never will’’.
More than 5,000 lawsuits are pending nationally against Johnson and Johnson for ovarian cancer caused by talc.
If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after exposure to talc, call Thornton Law Firm’s talc lawyers at 888-491-9726 for a free case evaluation, or tell us your story here. Contact us today for a thorough, fair consideration of your legal claim.
Call 888-341-1405 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in defective product litigation. You can also contact us online to discuss the details of your case.
UPDATE: The trial judge granted Johnson & Johnson’s motion for a new trial in this case, overturning the verdict and ruling that there were errors and jury misconduct. Plaintiff Eva Echeverria died after the trial; her estate has appealed the ruling vacating the award.
Published on September 20, 2017
The first California trial of a plaintiff claiming her ovarian cancer was caused by Johnson & Johnson talc powder ended in a $417 million award for plaintiff Eva Echeverria.
Previous talc lawsuits had been tried in state court in St. Louis, Missouri. Last year the Supreme Court ruled that cases must be tried in the state where the injuries occurred. Since then, Johnson & Johnson has worked to get the St. Louis cases dismissed, claiming that St. Louis is an over-friendly plaintiff’s jurisdiction. This California jury award of $367 million in punitive damages was more than was awarded in all four St. Louis talc verdicts put together.
Echeverria, age 63, was too ill to attend the trial. She was initially diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007, when a softball sized tumor was removed by her surgeon. Her videotape deposition was played for the jury. She testified that she used Johnson & Johnson baby powder from age 11 until 2016 when she saw a story on the news about a woman with ovarian cancer who had used talcum powder.
As in previous trials, evidence was introduced to show that J&J has been aware for decades of studies linking use of talcum powder to cancer, and withheld that information from consumers. A 1982 study was introduced that showed a 92% increased risk for talc users of developing ovarian cancer. The study’s author, Daniel W. Cramer, later recommended that Johnson & Johnson put warning labels on talc powder products.
New evidence introduced at this trial included warning labels on bottles of talcum powder sold at Walmart and Dollar Tree, warning of the risk of ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson has never warned consumers of the risks of ovarian cancer from talc use. Echeverria also produced evidence that members of the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, an industry organization that has pronounced talc a safe ingredient, has received payments from Johnson and Johnson for speeches and other engagements.
Johnson & Johnson has appealed the verdict, claiming that passion and prejudice tainted the jury’s decision.
It is recommended that women who use talcum powder switch to cornstarch, arrowroot, or any other powder made without talc. If you or a loved one has developed ovarian cancer after using talc powder, call the talcum powder lawyers at Thornton Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation. Please call Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick at 1-888-341-1405 or tell us your story online for a comprehensive evaluation of your legal rights. Seek legal advice as soon as possible. Legal claims have short time limits that are strictly enforced by the courts. Do not delay.