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Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Litigation Continues to Grow

August 31, 2020 in ,

A series of key decisions in multiple courts across the country have gone against Johnson & Johnson in the talcum powder litigation. Most recently, on August 5th, 2020, a New Jersey state appeals court reinstated lawsuits dismissed four years ago that claim Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products caused ovarian cancer. The lawsuits were revived after the New Jersey court determined that the plaintiffs’ experts’ opinions should not have been dismissed. Here, the skilled New York product liability attorneys provide updates on the New Jersey court’s momentous decision to revisit two previously dismissed claims made by women who have ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products.

New Jersey Cancer Talcum Powder Suits are Revived on Appeal

In an 86-page published opinion, a three-judge panel of the New Jersey Superior Court held that the Atlantic County Judge’s decision to preclude plaintiffs’ experts’ opinions and dismiss the cases, was an “abuse of discretion.” In reversing the lower court’s 2016 decision, the appellate court found that Judge Nelson improperly assessed the experts’ credibility, rather than scrutinizing the methodologies underlying their conclusions that talc exposure can lead to ovarian cancer.  This reversal effectively reinstates hundreds of ovarian cancer cases against Johnson & Johnson in the Atlantic County Superior Court in New Jersey.

Missouri Appellate Court Requires Johnson & Johnson to pay over $2 Billion

In June 2020, the Missouri Court of Appeals largely upheld a verdict ordering Johnson & Johnson to pay $2.1 billion to 22 women.  Though the appellate court reduced the $4.7 billion damages award, it upheld the verdict, finding “significant reprehensibility” in Johnson & Johnson’s conduct. Days later, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Ana C. Viscomi denied Johnson & Johnson’s proposal to avoid a $186 million verdict from a jury trial earlier in the year for similar reasons.

Plaintiffs’ Experts Permitted to Testify in the Talcum Powder MDL

In April 2020, Judge Wolfson, presiding over the nearly 18,500 talcum powder cases filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, denied J&J’s motion to exclude plaintiffs’ experts and to dismiss plaintiffs’ cases. This key ruling clears the way for trials to begin in the Spring of 2021.

Juries Have Already Spoken, Hitting J&J Hard With Numerous Verdicts

In the past few years, numerous juries have resoundingly concluded that Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products caused ovarian cancer by finding for the Plaintiffs and issuing multi-million and even multi-billion dollar verdicts. A brief synopsis of the verdicts is set forth below:

April 2020: $750 million verdict

In April 2020, a New Jersey jury charged J&J with a $750 million verdict in punitive damages alleging their popular Baby Powder caused mesothelioma in four individuals.

September 2019: $37.2 Million Verdict

A jury in New Jersey awarded over $37 million in damages to four individuals who claimed they developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos-contaminated J&J products. Specifically, these plaintiffs claimed their cancer was linked to J&J’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products, which they were frequently exposed to since their childhoods.

July 2018: $4.7 Billion Verdict

The Missouri Court of Appeals issued a verdict in July of 2018 ordering Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.69 billion, which was ultimately reduced to $2.1 billion in June 2020. The verdict noted that J&J’s talcum powder caused cancer in 22 women, and that the corporation failed to properly warn consumers of the potential negative effects of using talc. The verdict was ultimately reduced due to the Court’s conclusion that some of the women should not have been included in the original verdict as they were not Missouri residents.

April 2018: $117 Million Verdict

A New Jersey jury awarded a verdict totaling $117 million to an individual who claimed using J&J’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products caused his mesothelioma. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against both J&J and Imerys Talc America, their talc supplier. Ultimately, the companies were ordered to pay $80 million in punitive damages and $37 million in compensatory damages, totaling $117 million.

August 2017: $417 Million Verdict

A plaintiff was awarded $417 million by a California jury after claiming her use of J&J products for decades caused her ovarian cancer. The plaintiff ultimately passed away from her cancer; she had used products like Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for approximately 40 years.

May 2017: $110 Million Verdict

In May 2017, a jury in Missouri awarded an individual $110 million in both compensatory and punitive damages. The plaintiff claimed that J&J’s talc products caused the development of her ovarian cancer after repeatedly using them for over four decades.

October 2016: $70 Million Verdict

A Missouri jury awarded an individual $70 million in damages after she developed ovarian cancer from using Johnson & Johnson’s talc powder. The plaintiff claimed that she used talc powder for over four decades.

February 2016: $72 Million Verdict

In one of the first ovarian cancer verdicts against J&J, a Missouri jury awarded a late plaintiff’s family $72 million after the plaintiff passed away from cancer she claimed she developed after using J&J’s talc powder. The plaintiff, who had used talcum powder for 35 years, claimed that the company did not adequately warn consumers of the risk of developing cancer.

The New York City Product Liability Attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. Will Fight Beside You

After decades of Johnson & Johnson falsely misleading consumers and the FDA about the impact of asbestos-contaminated talc on public health, thousands of affected plaintiffs are seeking justice after developing cancer. The team of New York City product liability attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. have decades of experience fighting beside victims of product liability and have recovered billions of dollars in damages on behalf of their clients. If you or a loved one suffers from ovarian cancer and used Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder or Shower to Shower, contact the skilled legal counsel of SPBMCC today.

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