September will be a big month for Johnson & Johnson, as 3 states are scheduled to either convene or conclude trials involving allegations that the company’s popular talcum powder products contain asbestos. (Case Number BC656425)
According to Courtroom View Network, one such talcum powder lawsuit is currently on trial in Los Angeles Superior Court, where closing arguments are expected to begin on September 14th. (Case No. L-1748-17)
Meanwhile, a second talcum powder asbestos trial will get underway on September 10th in South Carolina Superior Court. (Case No. 2017-CP-40-05462)
And finally, opening statements will likely begin on September 17th in a third lawsuit set for trial in New Jersey’s Middlesex County Superior Court. Jury selection is already underway in that case.
All of the plaintiffs named in these talcum powder lawsuits claim to have been long-time users of Baby Powder and other Johnson & Johnson talc-based powders. They allege that the talc used to manufacture these products was tainted with asbestos, resulting in an often-deadly form of cancer called mesothelioma. Plaintiff further claim that Johnson & Johnson knew that its talc was contaminated with toxic asbestos, yet chose not to warn the public to protect the profits derived from talcum powder sales.
Johnson & Johnson is facing more than 10,000 talcum powder lawsuits filed on behalf of individuals who allegedly developed cancer due to their long-term use of the company’s talcum powder products.
In July, more than 20 women or their surviving loved ones, were awarded a total of $4.7 billion in compensatory and punitive damages, after a Missouri Superior Court jury found that asbestos in Johnson & Johnson talcum powders caused their ovarian cancer.
In April, a jury in New Jersey’s Middlesex County Superior Court awarded $117 million in compensatory and punitive damages to a man who alleged that his life-long use of Baby Powder was the only possible explanation for his mesothelioma diagnosis.
And just a month later, a California jury ordered Johnson & Johnson and its talcum suppliers to pay $27.1 million to a woman who allegedly developed mesothelioma due to asbestos in Baby Powder. The jury later added $4 million in punitive damages to that award, after finding that Johnson & Johnson acted with malice, oppression, or fraud.
Last November, a different California jury ruled in favor of Johnson & Johnson at the conclusion of another talcum powder mesothelioma lawsuit. A third California case ended in a mistrial when the plaintiff passed away.
South Carolina’s only other talcum powder trial also ended in a mistrial earlier this year.
The majority of talcum powder lawsuits involving Johnson & Johnson products do not raise asbestos allegations, but instead allege that the long-term and repeated use of the company’s talcum powders for feminine hygiene purposes contributed to the development of ovarian cancer.
Numerous such cases have gone to trial since February 2015, with juries ruling for plaintiffs 6 times and awarding damages ranging from $55 million to $417 million. Johnson & Johnson is currently appealing these verdicts and has so far managed to have three tossed.