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Articles Posted in Talcum Powder and Cancer

Pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson may be the sole defendant in an estimated 12,700 talcum powder asbestos cancer lawsuits after its main talc supplier recently filed for bankruptcy under the weight of thousands of such cases across the country. Imerys Talc USA, which had supplied Johnson & Johnson with talc sourced from overseas mines, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a Delaware federal court and was subsequently released as a defendant from a nearly two-month trial in California state court.

“After carefully evaluating all possible options, we determined pursuing Chapter 11 protection is the best course of action to address our historic talc-related liabilities and position the companies for continued growth,” Imerys Talc America President Giorgio La Motta said in a statement. Under the law, companies who file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy are protected from litigation, a move that allows the insolvent company to reorganize and determine the best way to settle claims with creditors.

Legal experts have speculated that after juries handed down multi-billion dollar verdicts in 2018, Imerys Talc USA essentially saw the writing on the wall and chose to insulate itself from potentially billions more in verdicts. In just a handful of trials last year, juries handed down a combined excess of $5 billion in plaintiffs verdicts, including a $4.7 billion award from a Missouri state court to 22 plaintiffs or their estates who claimed to have suffered serious health complications as a result of asbestos in Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products.

In the midst of thousands of lawsuits claiming plaintiffs developed ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, and other serious health conditions, federal regulators and Congress have issued subpoenas to pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson to seek answers over whether or not the company’s talc-based products pose a risk to the public. Executives for Johnson & Johnson recently revealed the company has received subpoenas from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and a member of the U.S. Senate seeking information about the health risks of talcum powder products.

Revelations came in a Form 10-k securities filing in which Johnson & Johnson admitted to receiving the records requests and claimed to be fully cooperating with federal investigators looking into the dangers of the company’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products. Johnson & Johnson was rocked at the end of 2018 by Reuters reporting that analyzed thousands of pages of internal company documents that appeared to show executives with the corporation knew for decades about positive tests for carcinogens in its talcum powder products.

Johnson & Johnson currently faces approximately 13,000 talcum powder cancer lawsuits across the country from women and men who claim they developed deadly forms of cancer from years of exposure to carcinogens in the products. In 2019, Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier, Imerys Talc USA, face dozens of trials in several states which could open the company to potentially billions in liability if juries continue to hand down substantial plaintiffs verdicts as they had in 2018.

As pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson, Colgate-Palmolive, and their wholesale suppliers face a new slew of trials in 2019, New York City’s specialized asbestos court is expected to become a hotbed of litigation as plaintiffs accuse the company of causing their serious medical conditions to develop. Juries in the New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCLAL) court handed down two plaintiffs verdicts against Johnson & Johnson in 2018 and the company reportedly settled a third case for $1.5 million.

Despite insisting that a substantial $4.7 billion plaintiffs verdict in an October 2018 in St, Louis was a “one off” case, Johnson & Johnson could be on the hook for millions, if not billions more, in compensation in NYCAL courts alone. The venue is known for plaintiff-friendly judges, juries, and evidentiary rules that produce plaintiffs verdicts and the compensation necessary to help victims and their families live comfortable, dignified lives.

In response to a series of articles about the dangers and liabilities of its talc-based products and upcoming trials concerning them, Johnson & Johnson released a statement saying “The decision to resolve any particular case in no way changes our overall position that our talc is safe, is asbestos free and does not cause cancer. We do not have any organized program to settle Johnson’s Baby Powder cases, nor are we planning a settlement program.”

Pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson reportedly settled a talcum powder cancer lawsuit for the first time ever in early January. That case involved a New York woman who claimed her rare form of cancer was caused by exposure to asbestos in Johnson & Johnson products like Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. The $1.5 million settlement is the first of its kind for Johnson & Johnson, which as of yet vigorously defended several other similar claims against it.

The asbestos cancer lawsuit, filed in New York state court, claimed that the 78-year-old plaintiff developed mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer, from years of exposure to asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products. The mesothelioma cancer lawsuit also accused Johnson & Johnson’s talc supplier, Imerys Talc USA, of negligence for supplying the carcinogenic materials that the plaintiff claimed caused her illness.

“In litigation of every nature there are one-off situations where settlement is a reasonable alternative,” said J&J. “The decision to resolve any particular case in no way changes our overall position that our talc is safe, is asbestos free and does not cause cancer.” Johnson & Johnson is currently facing an estimated 11,700 other talcum powder cancer lawsuits across the country and has several trials scheduled for 2019.

A California state jury is slated to hear opening arguments in an asbestos talcum powder lawsuit filed against pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson over allegations that the company knew for decades about the health risks associated with its talc-based products. The asbestos cancer lawsuit names Johnson & Johnson and its supplier, Imerys Talc USA, as defendants and seeks compensation for past and future medical bills, lost wages, and the pain and suffering of living with the mesothelioma cancer diagnosis.

According to the talcum powder asbestos cancer lawsuit, filed in Alameda County California Superior Court, the plaintiff developed mesothelioma from years of using asbestos-contaminated talcum powder products developed and manufactured by Johnson & Johnson with materials sourced by Imerys Talc USA. The lawsuit claims that despite knowing for decades about the health risks of asbestos exposure from tainted talcum powder, Johnson & Johnson continued to market and sell these same products without any warning labels for consumers.

The trial is the first one of this type scheduled this year against Johnson & Johnson and the first since a report by Reuters which showed that the company knew about positive asbestos tests on its talcum powder sourced by Imerys USA. That report looked at thousands of pages of internal Johnson & Johnson company files that showed both company tests and those conducted by outside labs confirmed the presence of potentially deadly levels of asbestos in its talc supply.

A recent report by Reuters claims that pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson knew for decades about the risk of asbestos contaminating its talc-based products, but did nothing to warn consumers about the dangers of exposure to the deadly carcinogen. Those claims come after the news outlet examined thousands of pages of internal company documents going back to the 1970s through the early 2000s that show Johnson & Johnson withheld information about asbestos from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

According to the article, Johnson & Johnson’s first recorded knowledge of potential asbestos contamination in its talc comes from 1957 and 1958 reports by a consulting lab describing contaminants in its products from the supplier. Those contaminants were described by the consulting lab as fibrous and acicular tremolite, one of the six-naturally occuring forms of asbestos.

Over the next several decades, other reports by Johnson & Johnson’s own scientists, outside consulting labs, and suppliers would show similar findings, including one identifying contaminants in the talc as “fiberform” and “rods.” Despite these obvious red flags, Johnson & Johnson chose not to put any warning labels on its talc-based products and allowed its potentially deadly items to remain on the market.

A Pennsylvania couple recently filed an asbestos cancer lawsuit in a Philadelphia court against several companies over allegations that the defendants knowingly manufactured and sold carcinogenic talc-based products that caused the victim’s cancer diagnosis. The asbestos lawsuit names cosmetics and pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, its talc supplier Imerys Talc USA, Rite Aid Corporation, and Walgreen Co. as defendants and seeks compensation for the victim’s injuries.

According to the asbestos cancer lawsuit, filed in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, the female plaintiff developed ovarian cancer after years of using talcum powder products manufactured by Johnson & Johnson with contaminated talc sourced by Imerys Talc USA. The plaintiff further alleges that she purchased the defective products at both Rite Aid and Walgreens stores throughout the years, which knew or should have known Johnson & Johnson’s products posed a danger to the public.

The plaintiffs’ lawsuit in this case is one of thousands Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc USA are facing across the country over allegations that the companies sold asbestos-contaminated talcum powder products for decades but did not put warning labels on items like Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. Some of those cases claim the victims developed ovarian cancer as a result, like the plaintiff in this case, while others assert their mesothelioma cancer diagnosis came about as a result of asbestos exposure from talc.

A New York judge recently ordered pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson to stand trial in an asbestos cancer lawsuit brought by a plaintiff who claims he developed an aggressive form of cancer due to carcinogenic materials contained in products manufactured by the defendant. Johnson & Johnson had filed a motion for summary judgement, seeking to have the case thrown out of court and avoid any liability for knowingly manufacturing deadly products without warning consumers about the risks.

According to the asbestos cancer lawsuit, filed in the Supreme Court of New York County, the plaintiff developed pleural mesothelioma at the age of 76 after decades of using Baby Powder and other talc-based products developed and sold by Johnson & Johnson. The plaintiff claims she did not suffer from any industrial asbestos exposure at her work place and that the only possible source for the exposure came from the carcinogenic asbestos in the talcum powders she used.

Although talc, a naturally occurring mineral, does not contain asbestos fibers itself, the two are often found in deposits side by side one another, which can cause a risk of contamination if certain precautions are not taken. Asbestos itself has been heavily regulated since the 1970s when the federal government enacted legislation to protect the public from the known risks of asbestos exposure. However, even before regulators stepped in, many companies were fully aware of the risks their products posed and continued to manufacture dangerously designed and defective materials.

A prominent asbestos researcher recently gave testimony in an asbestos mesothelioma cancer trial claiming that trace amounts of asbestos have been detected in talc sourced from mines in Vermont and Italy used in Johnson & Johnson products. That expert gave his testimony on behalf of a mesothelioma cancer patient who sued Johnson & Johnson over claims the company knew for decades about asbestos contamination in its talc-based products but refrained from placing any warning on product labels.

The case is the sixth such asbestos cancer lawsuit to go to trial against pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson, with some naming its talc supplier Imerys USA as a co-defendant, blaming the company for causing mesothelioma. The plaintiff in this case filed her claim in Los Angeles County Superior court and named, among other defendants, Johnson & Johnson, Chanel, and their supplier Imerys.

Johnson & Johnson faces thousands of other lawsuits across the country by plaintiffs who claim they also developed various forms of cancer related to using talc-based products developed and sold by the company for decades. Recently, a Missouri jury awarded a group of 22 plaintiffs a total of $4.69 billion in compensatory and punitive damages for their asbestos cancer diagnosis that was caused by talc products marketed and sold by Johnson & Johnson. That very same verdict was also upheld by the trial court judge, clearing a major legal hurdle for plaintiffs trying to be made whole again.

A Missouri trial judge recently upheld a substantial $4.69 billion verdict in favor of 22 plaintiffs and their families in an asbestos talcum powder lawsuit against New Jersey-based pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson. Soon after the judge upheld the verdict, Johnson & Johnson continued to deny responsibility in the case and vowed to appeal the decision and have the award overturned.

In his orders, the Circuit Court judge for the City of St. Louis noted there was no reason to further delay certification of the award for appeal and so affirmed the jury’s decision. Johnson & Johnson had chosen not to file any post judgement motions asking the court to reduce or set aside the verdict entirely, thus allowing it to take its case to state appeals courts to try and challenge the jury’s will on technical grounds.

The plaintiffs in the case alleged that they or their relatives developed various types of cancer, including mesothelioma, from years of using Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder, Shower to Shower, and other talc-based products developed by the company. While Johnson & Johnson denied its products contained talcum powder or had been talc-free for several decades, the plaintiffs showed internal company documents to the contrary.

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