Baby products containing talc made by manufacturers such as Johnson & Johnson have been linked with:
- Ovarian cancer
- Endometrioid ovarian cancer
Talcum powder lawsuits allege that the manufacturers of products containing talc knew or should have known that the products contained asbestos and thus could cause cancer, yet failed to warn about the danger inherent in the products. Call us today for a free consultation if you or a loved one developed one of the above cancers after using products containing talc. You might be eligible for financial compensation in a talc lawsuit. We don’t charge a fee to represent clients until and unless we obtain financial compensation for them.
2023 Talcum Powder Lawsuit Updates
- Reuters reported on November 16 that Johnson & Johnson has settled two lawsuits brought by plaintiffs who claimed that asbestos in the company’s talc powder products caused them to develop mesothelioma. Settlement terms were not disclosed by plaintiffs’ lawyers. Johnson & Johnson faces over 50,000 talc lawsuits, the majority of which have been filed by women who developed ovarian cancer.
- Rumblings are coming from Johnson & Johnson regarding a possible third attempt to have its subsidiary LTL Management file for bankruptcy in order to avoid financial liability over talc litigation. Johnson & Johnson failed twice to file bankruptcy in New Jersey, with the courts in New Jersey ruling that LTL was not in immediate financial distress and could therefore not file for bankruptcy in good faith. Johnson & Johnson is considering having LTL file for bankruptcy in Texas, thinking that Texas courts may be more favorable to them. This probably will not work and will probably lead to Johnson & Johnson wasting money.
- Following a long delay in the talc litigation resulting from two failed bankruptcy filings by Johnson & Johnson, things in the litigation are moving along again. The judge who presides over the talc MDL has released a pretrial schedule, updating deadlines for six bellwether trials. The new pretrial schedule involves expert witness depositions reaching completion by January 22, 2024, defense expert witness depositions reaching completion by April 15, 2024 and Daubert and dispositive motions being completed by May 6.
- United States Senators have delivered bipartisan condemnation of Johnson & Johnson’s attempt to avoid financial liability for its talc products allegedly causing cancer by shifting liability to a shell company then having the shell company file for bankruptcy. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) noted that Johnson & Johnson’s market capitalization was $420 billion when its subsidiary declared bankruptcy in 2021, yet offered only $8.9 billion in order to settle talc lawsuits. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) stated that Johnson & Johnson is attempting to “distort” bankruptcy code in order to avoid liability in talc lawsuits.
- Since a stay on talc litigation was lifted by a judge a bit over a month ago, over 11,000 new talc lawsuits have been filed alleging that Johnson & Johnson, as well as its subsidiaries, failed to warn that its talcum powder products could cause cancer. There are now over 70,000 lawsuits involving similar allegations that particles of absestos in the talcum powder products led to users developing mesothelioma, ovarian cancer and more. Users of the products had been prevented from filing lawsuits for over two years when Johnson & Johnson transferred its liability into a subsidiary which immediately filed for bankruptcy, but that filing was dismissed by a judge this year, allowing new talc lawsuits to be filed.
- On September 8, 2023, plaintiffs in the talc MDL objected to the appointment of retired judge Freda L. Wolfson for addressing Daubert-related motions and disputes. The plaintiffs contend it is inappropriate for Wolfson to address these motions and disputes because she is now a partner at the law firm Lowenstein Sandler, which represents Johnson & Johnson in a bankruptcy matter related to talc litigation.
- On August 23, 2023, plaintiffs in the Talc MDL wrote a letter to the court opposing Johnson & Johnson’s attempt to delay litigation by rearguing Daubert motions which had been already ruled upon years ago.
- On August 11, 2023, a second attempt at bankruptcy by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary LTL Management was dismissed by the court. However, plaintiffs had also requested a 180 day ban on future bankruptcy claims by J&J, and U.S. Bankruptcy Court Chief Judge Michael Kaplan refused to impose this ban. The ban was requested by plaintiffs to avoid setbacks which might jeopardize settlements in talc claims.
- On July 28, 2023, a United States bankruptcy judge, Michael Kaplan, rejected the second bankruptcy filing by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary LTL Management, LLC. The judge determined the filing was “filed in bad faith.” The judge determined that LTL Management doesn’t face immediate or imminent financial distress. The judge determined the subsidiary possesses sufficient financial resources to resolve talc litigation in a fair manner without having to restrict plaintiffs’ compensation by filing for bankruptcy. The judge noted that LTL Management has a “funding backstop” provided via contract by Johnson & Johnson, which has equity interests, expected annual dividends and cash holdings with a value that approaches $30 billion.
- On July 18, 2023, a California jury ruled that Johnson & Johnson must pay a California man $18.8 million. The man had filed a lawsuit claiming he developed mesothelioma after being exposed to the company’s talc products.
- Johnson and Johnson’s second attempt at bankruptcy has been opposed by a United States Trustee’s office. A motion was filed to dismiss J&J’s Chapter 11 case. Andrew Vara, the trustee, noted that the “bankruptcy petition appears to reflect a mistaken belief that the best cure for bad faith is more bad faith.” Vara accused J&J of engaging in transactions which J&J subsidiary LTL admitted were designed for the purpose of creating fake financial distress. Vara alleges that the bankruptcy case is an attempt by J&J to “discharge tort obligations at cents on the dollar.”
- On May 31, 2023, Johnson & Johnson began the first talcum powder trial it has gone through since the bankruptcy and spinoff of its talc subsidiary. The trial sees a patient with terminal mesothelioma alleging that the company ignored or minimized data which indicated that its talc was contaminated with asbestos.
- In April 2023, Judge Michael Kaplan placed a 60 day freeze on talc trials. However, under the injunction, new lawsuits can still be filed and discovery can still be conducted by plaintiffs.
- Johnson & Johnson, in April 2023, announced that it had agreed to pay out $8.9 billion in order to resolve any and all lawsuits alleging that its talc-containing products caused cancer. Included in the $8.9 billion is $400 for ending claims by states that its talc marketing was deceptive. However, at Nadrich & Cohen, we do not feel that this is an adequate settlement. While $8.9 billion seems like a ton of money, Johnson & Johnson is attempting to cover all current and future victims of ovarian cancer and mesothelioma with this settlement, as well as any attorney general action in any state and any other claim related to talc, such as claims against the company filed by insurance companies. This settlement would pay less than $120,000 per case, if not less, and most victims of ovarian cancer see their medical costs alone cost as much as $500,000.
- In February 2023, a bankruptcy judge allowed a talcum powder lawsuit to proceed in California. The lawsuit alleges that talcum powder caused a man to develop terminal cancer. The lawsuit was cleared to proceed after a long bankruptcy stay which stopped litigation from moving ahead.
- In March 2022, a federal appeals court rejected an attempt by Johnson & Johnson to use chapter 11 bankruptcy to avoid liability in talc lawsuits.
- In October 2021, Johnson & Johnson faced over 40,000 lawsuits regarding its talcum powder-based products. It announced that it would explore Chapter 11 bankruptcy to dispose of some of these cases.
- In August 2021, Johnson & Johnson sought to separate its business accounts from its talc-related liabilities, having been overwhelmed with the growing number of lawsuits.
- In July 2021, the National Council of Negro Women filed a suit against Johnson & Johnson, claiming that its marketing targeted black women more than other demographics.
- In February 2021, the accused company, faced with over 25,000 lawsuits, reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission that they set aside roughly $4 billion for litigation expenses. Despite this move, Johnson & Johnson still chose to defend the safety of its products.
- In October 2020, Johnson & Johnson made headlines with settlement agreements ($100 million to resolve 1,000 cases). At the time, the company maintained the safety of their products, confident that they don’t contain asbestos and don’t cause cancer.
- In May 2020, Johnson & Johnson voluntarily ceased the sale of talcum powder-based products in the US and Canada. The company cited reasons such as changes in consumer habits, the constant barrage of litigation advertising, and misinformation around the product’s safety.