Johnson & Johnson, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the U.S., was just last week denied their appeal after the Supreme Court refused to review a lower court opinion that awarded a $2 billion verdict to group of women who sued Johnson & Johnson after developing ovarian cancer which they claim was due to asbestos in the company’s talc powder. The talc-based powder, Johnson’s Baby Power, had been sold for more than 100 years, as talc is considered one of the softest minerals that reduce friction and has a substantial ability to absorb oils and odor. As a result, Johnson and Johnson is one step closer to finally reaching a global settlement.
Nowhere Else to Go
Johnson & Johnson’s encounter with the United States Supreme Court is not the first effort they have made to fight the verdict. Initially, in July of 2018, a Missouri Circuit Court ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.69 billion to 22 women who developed ovarian cancer and used Johnson & Johnson talcum powder. Johnson & Johnson then appealed the $4.69 billion verdict, in hopes of reversing the circuit court’s decision to the Missouri Appeals Court which upheld the July, 2018 jury verdict but reduced the payout to $2.12 billion.
The Missouri Appeals Court reduced the verdict to $2.12 billion after dismissing a couple of plaintiffs; however, it maintained the outcome of the trial as the court found “significant reprehensibility in [Johnson & Johnson’s] conduct.” The Missouri Appeals court also affirmed that Johnson & Johnson did expose consumers to asbestos for various decades after plaintiffs introduced evidence that showed Johnson & Johnson “knew of the asbestos danger.” With the recent United States Supreme Court refusing to review this case and with nowhere else to appeal to, Johnson & Johnson will likely prepare for a settlement.
A Known Threat
FILE PHOTO: A bottle of Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder is seen in a photo illustration taken in New York, February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar/Illustration/File Photo/File Photo
Asbestos is, and has been for a while, known as a “known human carcinogen” by the Department of Health and Human Services and the EPA. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has published corroborating conclusions, reporting an association between asbestos and both mesothelioma and ovarian cancer. Presumably due to the known carcinogenic risk, in 2019 the FDA tested a Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder bottle for asbestos. After the FDA alerted Johnson & Johnson of the results coming back positive, the company issued a voluntary recall of 33,000 bottles “out of abundance of caution.” This recall prompted other retailers to remove all of Johnson’s baby powder from their shelves, presumably added to the amounting pressure that eventually led Johnson & Johnson to stop the sale of their iconic talc-based baby powder in North America in May, 2020.
Time is of the Essence
Courtesy: J&J Annual Report
Johnson & Johnson has recently set aside $3.9 billion for consumer health litigation expenses, of which it claims is “primarily talc related reserves and certain settlements.” Johnson & Johnson’s Annual Report, dated January 3, 2021, cited to the baby powder case, acknowledging that it can be required to pay “significant amounts as a result of settlements or judgments.” As a result of the recent United States Supreme Court decision, Johnson & Johnson may, in fact, have no choice but to reach a comprehensive settlement soon which is why you need to act now. If you suffer from ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer, or mesothelioma and have used Johnson & Johnson talcum powder, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
Our team at Oppenheim Law recognizes the emotional burden these complications can have on families. That is why our firm provides a team of professionals committed to zealously represent our clients.
Please feel free to call us at (954) 384-6114 as soon as possible. You may also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or chat with us at www.oppenheimlaw.com so we can inform you of your legal rights so you can obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. Again, time is of the essence.
From the Trenches,