Johnson & Johnson Faces Triple the Baby Powder Trials in 2019
Johnson & Johnson is scheduled to go to court in 2019 three times more compared to last year—totally to 21 trials. Last year, the world’s largest manufacturer of healthcare products defended itself in eight trials where plaintiffs were diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after years and decades of using J&J’s talc-based products.
According to court filings, over 15 trails will be held in California, where most of the talc cases are consolidated. Four trials will be located in St. Louis, in the same court in Missouri where 22 women were awarded $4.69 billion back in July 2018. One in Georgia is scheduled in March.
On January 22, there will be 13 talc powder claims—five of those claims pursued by family members of the deceased—by women who contracted ovarian cancer heard in the St. Louis court. In April, the same lawyer who obtained the $4.69-billion verdict will represent 24 women from multiple states. In August, there is one case set to have 38 plaintiffs.
After national headlines were made when J&J internal reports from the 1970s demonstrated company officials knew that some of the talc used in their baby powder products contained traces of asbestos, thousands of plaintiffs (mostly women) started accusing the company of hiding the risk of cancer. J&J’s baby powder products have been marketed toward feminine hygiene for decades. In December of 2018, the company’s stock price dropped more than ten percent.
The largest talc powder manufacturer believes that their products do not cause cancer. Regarding the last five trials last year, two verdicts were in favor of J&J and three lead to mistrials.
There are roughly 11,700 talc powder cases against Johnson & Johnson. It is estimated that the company would have to award approximately $20 billion in settlements, resulting in an average payout of $1.67 million per case.