Johnson & Johnson Ramps Up Settlement Negotiations in Talc Lawsuits
In December 2018, it was reported that Johnson & Johnson knew that it’s popular talc powder contained asbestos. Despite this knowledge, the company continued to market the product aggressively to several demographics.
The decision to put profit over consumer health has been devastating for many. Thousands of Johnson & Johnson consumers believe that their ovarian cancer diagnoses are linked to long term use of talc powder. They’re asking courts to hold the company accountable for the harm they’ve inflicted.
Johnson & Johnson Spends Billions to Resolve Talc Cases
Before this bombshell report, Johnson & Johnson had already been ordered to spend more than $4 billion to resolve talc powder lawsuits. Since then, litigation has ramped up. The number of talc powder lawsuits filed in court across the country continues to rise.
The company has doubled down on trying to settle many of these cases before they get to court. In January, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $1.5 million to a 78-year-old woman who was diagnosed with mesothelioma after breathing in asbestos-contaminated talc for decades.
At least three lawsuits have been settled privately in the past three months. Each of the three women, ranging between the ages of 36 and 77, I was diagnosed with mesothelioma after having used Johnson & Johnson talc product for decades. At least one of the women discovered traces of asbestos in her ovarian and fallopian tissue.
More Than 13,000 Talc Lawsuits Pending
Johnson & Johnson may be running out of time to settle each case individually. The company is currently named in more than 13,000 lawsuits in state and federal courts across the country. These lawsuits claim:
- Johnson & Johnson talc powder is defective because it contained asbestos
- Johnson & Johnson talc powder increases the risk of ovarian cancer and mesothelioma, and
- Johnson & Johnson has known about the link between its talc powder and cancer for decades, but failed to disclose that information to the public.
Many of the Johnson & Johnson talc injury lawsuits have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL). In an MDL, lawsuits based on similar facts and arguments are merged together and tried in one federal court. This process helps to streamline litigation, limit costs, and encourage settlement discussions. Unlike a class-action where all plaintiffs rely on the outcome of one case, each person in an MDL has the right to have their day in court.
Johnson & Johnson Buried Information About Asbestos Contamination
Internal company documents reveal that Johnson & Johnson has known that it’s talc powder sometimes contained asbestos. However, this isn’t new information. The company has known for decades. It’s well-established that asbestos is incredibly toxic and can cause a whole host of health issues, namely cancer. Rather than fix the problem or disclose that information to the government or the public, Johnson & Johnson buried the research. The company then proceeded to pour millions into marketing its widely popular product.
This decision will cost them. It’s already cost the company more than $4 billion. There are more than 13,000 lawsuits still pending. That number will probably rise significantly in the coming months. As a result, the price tag will likely be much higher.