Johnson & Johnson Subpoenaed Over Baby Powder Concerns

On Wednesday, February 20, Johnson & Johnson revealed that the company received subpoenas from the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The subpoenas are related to the litigation regarding alleged asbestos contamination in J&J’s baby powder.

Johnson & Johnson has said it will “cooperate fully with these inquiries and will continue to defend the Company in the talc-related litigation.”

This follows a Reuters report from December 2018 that stated Johnson & Johnson knew its talcum powder contained asbestos. On that day, J&J’s shares dropped significantly, losing $40 billion in market value.

J&J shares fell another 2.1% after news broke that it was being subpoenaed.

Contact GoldenbergLaw if you or a loved one was diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after years of extensive talcum powder use. We deliver the Gold standard advocacy you deserve.

MESSAGE SENT: Jury Hammers Johnson & Johnson with $4.69 Billion Talcum Powder Verdict

It took a St. Louis jury less than 8 hours of deliberation to award $550 million in compensatory damages to 22 women who claimed Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based baby powder contains asbestos and substantially contributed to their development of ovarian cancer. It took that same jury less than an hour to hit J&J with $4.14 billion in punitive damages for failing to sufficiently warn consumers about the product’s cancer risks.

The message to J&J was clear: its signature product is not safe.

The trial started in early June and was the first multi-plaintiff trial in the St. Louis talcum powder litigation. Testimony spanned over five weeks and arguments centered on the question of whether J&J’s talc-based baby powder contains asbestos and whether consistent usage could lead to ovarian cancer. It marked the first St. Louis talcum powder trial to include the claim that J&J’s talc-based baby powder contains asbestos. In what was perhaps a telling sign, J&J’s talcum supplier Imerys settled with the 22 plaintiffs for $5 million prior to trial.

Judge's gavelJust over two weeks ago, plaintiffs’ counsel dropped a bombshell when they introduced evidence that J&J and Imerys had secretly funded a talcum powder study that dismissed claims that the product can cause ovarian cancer. Plaintiffs also introduced evidence that J&J has known its talcum powder could contain asbestos since the early 1970s yet failed to warn consumers of the potential risks.

Talc, which is considered “possibly carcinogenic” by the World Health Organization, is mined from the earth and can naturally form alongside asbestos. While J&J claimed their own internal testing consistently showed their talc-based baby powder did not contain asbestos, the jury ultimately sided with the plaintiffs’ studies showing that talcum powder can be laced with the toxic mineral.

The verdict is the fifth plaintiff win in the six trials in the St. Louis talcum powder litigation. All 22 plaintiffs had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and claimed that their disease was caused in part by years of perineal talcum powder usage. Sadly, six of the plaintiffs had already passed away.

GoldenbergLaw is currently investigating the use of talcum powder and its link to ovarian cancer.  Contact GoldenbergLaw for referral opportunities.


Talk With Us >

Four Cases That Will Make You Think Differently About Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson is one of the largest and most well-known companies in the world, and millions of individuals trust the company with the products they purchase. Unfortunately, Johnson & Johnson has run into some legal trouble with some of its signature products. Here are four recent trials that show a consistent pattern in the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of some Johnson & Johnson products.

  1. Prolift pelvic mesh: Johnson & Johnson misrepresents the efficacy and safety of the mesh.

In March 2018, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon were hit with a $35 million verdict over their Prolift pelvic mesh. Plaintiffs accused the companies of underreporting and withholding information about the mesh, including reports of a high failure rate and revision surgeries. Some plaintiffs claimed the Prolift mesh caused irreversible injuries. Further, plaintiffs claimed that the companies misrepresented the efficacy and safety of the products by misinforming the public and medical community of the potential risks of implantation. The jury agreed and found that Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon Inc. were negligent in the design of the mesh and did not adequately warn patients and physicians of the risk.

  1. Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip: J&J’s product has design defects.

In November 2017, J&J’s orthopedic subsidiary DePuy was hit with a $247 million verdict across six plaintiffs who claimed the Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip caused implant loosening and metal poisoning. A Dallas jury found DePuy liable for design defects and fraud related to the manufacturing and marketing of the Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip and punished the company with $168 million in punitive damages. This was the third plaintiff verdict in the Pinnacle litigation. Thousands of individuals suffered injuries, including tissue death and bone erosion, that they attribute to the design flaws of the Pinnacle hip implant. The jury agreed and found that Johnson & Johnson and DePuy were liable for design defects and fraud.

RELATED: Pinnacle Trial Update: Combined Verdict of $247 Million

  1. Talcum Powder: The manipulation of testing methods so asbestos could not be found in talcum powder

In April 2018, Plaintiffs in a New Jersey state court successfully claimed that Johnson & Johnson and supplier Imerys Talc America Inc. have sold and distributed talcum powder containing asbestos for decades. A jury sided with the plaintiff’s claim that J&J created tests that would intentionally not detect asbestos in the talcum powder and hit J&J and Imerys with $117 million in total damages. Many individuals have been diagnosed with mesothelioma that they claim is a result of talcum powder use. The jury found that the baby powder contained asbestos and that the plaintiff’s exposure to it played a substantial factor in him contracting mesothelioma.

RELATED: Johnson & Johnson Hit With $117 Million in Asbestos Talcum Powder Trial

  1. Talcum Powder: Selling the baby powder despite the numerous studies that show a link between talc and ovarian cancer.

In February 2016, a Missouri state court awarded $72 million to a Virginia woman who claimed that her daily use of J&J’s talcum powder caused her ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson became aware of this potential danger in 1982 when epidemiologist Dr. Daniel Cramer published a study about the association between perineal talcum powder use and ovarian cancer. Since then there have been over 20 other studies that reaffirm Dr. Cramer’s findings. The case ended up being reversed because the lawsuit lacked jurisdiction in Missouri. Nonetheless, the case highlighted the strength of plaintiff’s claim that J&J failed to warn that perineal use of talcum powder can be a contributing factor to the development of ovarian cancer.

Despite several verdicts that hold Johnson & Johnson responsible for its defective products, the company has not accepted fault and has planned to appeal the decisions.

GoldenbergLaw Can Help

GoldenbergLaw is accepting Talcum Powder, Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant, and Prolift pelvic mesh cases. Please contact your defective medical device attorneys GoldenbergLaw. Call us at 612 – 436 – 5026.