Status of Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuits To Be Reviewed With MDL Judge

  • Written by: Irvin Jackson

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Lawyers for Johnson & Johnson and plaintiffs pursuing talcum powder lawsuits in the federal court system will meet today with the U.S. District Judge presiding over the litigation, which involves more than 10,000 cases brought by women throughout the U.S. who allege they developed ovarian cancer, mesothelioma or other injuries following years of exposure to Johnson’s Baby Powder or other products.

Given similar questions of fact and law raised in complaints filed throughout the federal court system, all talcum powder cancer cases are consolidated for pretrial proceedings as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL), which is centralized before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in the District of New Jersey.

In advance of a case management conference scheduled for today, the parties submitted a joint report (PDF) that outlined the status of the talcum powder litigation, and an agenda for topics that will be addressed with the court, including the status of expert discovery, challenges to the admissibility of certain scientific evidence, pending motions and the growing number of complaints filed in state and federal courts nationwide.

According to the report, there are currently at least 10,556 Baby Powder lawsuits and Shower-to-Shower lawsuits filed in the federal court system, each raising similar allegations that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn consumers for decades about the serious health risks associated with their talc-based products, which have been linked to the development of ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. In addition, there are about 2,400 additional cases filed in state courts nationwide.

While Judge Wolfson is expected to rule on Daubert challenges to the admissibility of expert witness testimony this summer before setting the first federal cases for trial, a number of trials have already gone before juries at the state court level, with several resulting in multi-million verdicts in favor of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma.

While Johnson & Johnson obtained a defense verdict recently in one California trial, last month another case resulted in a $29 million verdict for failing to warn about the risk of mesothelioma from talcum powder. In addition, last year a Missouri jury returned a landmark $4.7 billion verdict for 22 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Johnson & Johnson is appealing each of the prior verdicts, and previously indicated that it intends to continue to fight the cases at trial. However, it was recently reported that the company reached settlements to resolve at least three talcum powder cancer claims that were either in the middle of trial or set to begin in the coming weeks.

If Judge Wolfson determines that plaintiffs have sufficiently reliable evidence about the link between talcum powder and cancer to proceed to trial under federal rules, it is expected that a small group of “bellwether” cases will be set for trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. However, unless is able to negotiate additional talcum powder settlements or otherwise resolve the litigation, it is expected that large numbers of cases will eventually be remanded back to different federal district courts for individual trial dates in the future.

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  1. Trena Reply

    I am patiently waiting for Johnson and Johnson to help out those of us who have gone through years of illness, multiple surgeries. CHEMO, that you never recover from. I need some help and compassion. I can’t function at the level I was ,prior to the cancer. But I have to. So I literally work until I drop and do nothing else.

  2. Sonya Reply

    I am very sorry for your suffering. My 33 year old daughter died of ovarian cancer last year after putting up a hard fight. I patiently wait with you upon Judge Wolfson.

  3. Heather Reply

    My mom passed away from ovarian cancer and has been involved in this settlement
    It’s been so dragged out
    I had to watch her die and they want to just keep the suffering of things prolonged
    Her ex husband has the case and we have no communication, I can’t even talk to my attorney without his permission to see where the case is going
    I’m supposed to be involved in it but they never give me any information

  4. Emily Reply

    My mom was diagnosed with Stage 3C Ovarian Cancer at the age of 68 in January of 2014. She was an avid Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder user every since I can remember and that was back in the 1970’s. After numerous surgeries, 2 1/2 years of chemo she deteriorated to 85 pounds when she died at Calvary Hospice in the Bronx,

    Today October 20th, 2019 Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder has been recalled off the shelves for testing positive for Asbestos

    Judge Freda Wolfson you honor what more proof do you need that Johnson & Johnson has known for decades that their product was harmful. But billions of dollars would be lost. I am not in this lawsuit for the money I want my mother back and that nobody can help me with that, but at least my Special Needs daughter will have a good life that my mom lost because of Johnson & Johnson’s negligence to put a warning on their product.

  5. Candice Reply

    I was pregnant and diagnosed with ovarian cancer , my life has change with numerous surgery and chemo . I’m sadden that my life was ruined by company’s greed and they won’t take responsibility for there product .
    Please judge Wolfson do the right thing for all who suffered by the hands of Johnson & Johnson . God Bless all who have suffered from ovarian cancer .

  6. Cynthia Reply

    My mom past away last year of ovarian cancer, she fought it on and off for 10 years. Chemos, surgery’s and again chemos and surgery. That was her life for 10 years. Not only her life but ours aswell. We as a family had to see her go through so much pain. We sat next to her while she took her last breath at home. Watching my mom die , was something I would not wish upon anyone. I was only 26 years old and no matter what age you are you will always need your mom. All I ask for is justice to those who suffered from this product and for those families of their loved ones that have past away.

  7. Robert Carlyle Reply

    My wife died three months ago after suffiering through the various stages of ovarian cancer and its treatments for those, including major surgery, Various chemotherapy treatments. I despise the attitude of those who will not accept their mistakes and undertook to hide the asbestos in the talcum powder. Such acts constitute 1st & 2nd degree MURDER. I lost the love of my life and watched her suffer because of this attitude fostered by the J & J Company. It is now time for the grim reaper to visit those who have been responsible for the excruciating suffering of thousands of innocent human beings.

  8. Tracy Reply

    I’m so very sorry for each one of you who lost a love one or still suffering with OC. I am Crying and Prayer too. I have it too. I’m afraid too. It’s a chronic disease that’s never leaves. We fight for years until we succumb to the disease. There is no cure. I’m sad too. I dont want to leave my beautiful grandchildren, my husband , son and daughter either. This holiday season is truly about Jesus love for those who suffer and are heavy laden. I pray that the love of God feel our brokenness with his love in Jesus name. Amen

  9. Kristal Reply

    Hi my name is Kristal Sanders and I was a victim of talcum powder I use talcum powder when I was a baby my mother used it with cloth diapers and now my mother feels like she’s at fault for me having cancer because all of this talk about her stuff going on because my medical records indicate just like the chart have the people of talcum powder the way of body is done he stayed I can take my medical records and slotted in between each one of their medical statement so that to me is proof enough I’m so sorry for everyone that has lost someone that they loved and I am fighting for their honor I am a survivor so far I’ve been fighting it for at least six years now I kind of wish that it would get the show on the road because I don’t want to have money when I’m already dead to go and spend of my family my loved ones for the times that they’ve missed out and been at the hospital with me I want my niece to have a good college education I love my nieces and my nephew I just want to live and nobody can compensate for that

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