Johnson's Baby Powder Asbestos Cancer Defense May Be Collapsing
The Missouri Supreme Court will have nothing to do with the efforts to reverse a $2.69 billion ovarian cancer jury award
Thursday, November 5, 2020 - The Missouri Supreme Court has refused to reverse the decision rendered against Johnson & Johnson last year that resulted in a jury award of $2.69 billion. Twenty-two women accused Johnson & Johnson of failing to warn them of what they knew or were reasonably expected to know about talc, the main ingredient in Baby Powder caused cancer. Women with ovarian cancer allege that Johnson's Baby Powder contains asbestos and other elongated fibers that are hazardous to health. The women used Johnson's Baby Powder for feminine hygiene regularly after and in between showering, and that particles of talc and asbestos traveled up into their vagina, Fallopian Tubes, and became permanently embedded in their ovaries where irritation led to ovarian cancer. The company now intends to take the matter to the US Supreme Court, and has set aside $2.69 billion to satisfy the jury award should their Supreme Court appeal fail according to company records reported by Reuters. Talcum powder cancer lawsuits are represented by top national attorneys offering a free consultation and no obligation to file a claim.
Court documents unsealed during previous trials indicate that Johnson & Johnson executives knew for decades that talc may have been contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen. Instead of warning consumers, the company redirected its marketing efforts to target African American and obese women that they thought to be a less well-informed demographic residing in the southern US states. The practice of racially targeting women was condemned by a Missouri Court of Appeals judge. The judge not only upheld the jury verdict against Johnson & Johnson but also chastised the defendants saying the company, "disregarded the safety of consumers in its drive for profit, despite knowing its talc products caused ovarian cancer. It also found significant reprehensibility in the company's conduct," according to Reuters.
There have been several developments since the billion-dollar Missouri jury award that may have influenced the Supreme Court decision. For one, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has tested Johnson's Baby Powder and found asbestos. Johnson & Johnson reacted by denying the agency's findings and stating that Johnson's Baby Powder is pure, safe, and asbestos-free. The company followed-up, however, by discontinuing sales of its iconic brand, Johnson's Baby Powder, in all of North America citing a company decision to restructure its health care product line in light of the current Coronavirus pandemic. Most importantly, Federal Judge Freda Wolfson conducted Daubert hearings in the summer of 2019 focusing on the scientific methods experts were using to test talc for asbestos and other hazardous elongated fibers thought to contribute to cancer. In 2020, Judge Wolfson decided that asbestos testing methods used by Johnson & Johnson were inadequate to detect microscopic yet deadly asbestos particles and that a more sensitive method used by plaintiff expert witnesses could be presented to juries. Johnson & Johnson made history last month when they settled 1000 out of the approximately 20,000 ovarian cancer cases filed against them for the sum of 100 million dollars.