Johnson & Johnson is currently facing almost 2000 failure to warn lawsuits, each raising similar claims that Johnson’s talc based Baby Powder or Shower-to-Shower body powder caused the development of ovarian and uterine cancer. Additionally, another 10,000 claims are also currently being investigated nationwide.
Already two talc lawsuits against the pharmaceutical giant have ended in verdicts worth $127 million to the plaintiffs, yet Johnson & Johnson continues to claim its talc based products are safe, this in spite of the growing number of lawsuits alleging a link between talc use and cancer.
Most of the lawsuits against have been filed in state courts, but 43 high profile cases have been brought in federal courts and were recently consolidated into Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). On October 4, 2016, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) issued a transfer order to centralize all federal talcum powder cancer lawsuits before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
With multiple plaintiffs, there can be benefits gained by the formation of an MDL. An MDL can reduce duplicative and overlapping discovery and prevent conflicting rulings by different judges. But even more critical, the MDL will likely schedule bellwether trials once discovery is completed. These cases will feature many claims, evidence, and testimony likely to be used in the larger number of claims, and the bellwether verdicts often foreshadow similar results in other cases. In many cases the verdicts in bellwether trials can lead to settlements for other claims.
One of the talc lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson includes a suit I helped file recently in Tampa on behalf of Diana Shinske. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer we believe was caused by her long time use of J&J talc products. We allege that the company failed to inform customers of the potential harmful effect of using their product that contain talc, even after they knew became aware links between talcum powder and cancer.
I am alarmed that Johnson & Johnson continues to discredit reputable studies linking talc to ovarian cancer and suggests the studies are biased and unreliable. The first indication talc could cause cancer was in 1971 when doctors discovered talc particles deeply embedded in ovarian tumors. Then in 1982, the first study to ever to link talc use with ovarian cancer came out. In the clinical trials it was based on, there were 20 well executed, case-control studies done over 30 years that support the association. The most recent study confirming the cancer-talc relationship was published in 2015. According to a doctor associated with the study there was, on average, about 30% increased risk for ovarian cancer with talc usage in the case-control studies.
This most recent MDL in the talc lawsuits adds to the long list of litigation the company has faced over dangerous and deadly products. Only recently Johnson & Johnson has faced or settled, litigation involving many of their flagship products. Ethicon transvaginal mesh, DePuy ASR and Pinnacle hip joints, Risperdal, Xarelto, power morcellators, Ortho-Novum, Tylenol, Invega, Invocana have been at the center of lawsuits, in some cases massive recalls, and cost J&J billions of dollars.
At Saunders & Walker we have a long and successful history of representing victims harmed by drugs and medical devices. If you believe you, or a loved one, has gotten cancer while using a Johnson & Johnson product containing talcum powder you may be owed substantial compensation for your damages. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.