J&J on Edge After $110M Talcum Powder Ruling
Things are only getting worse for Johnson and Johnson (J&J). Following a string of talcum powder cancer rulings that cost the company tens of millions in each case, a jury in Missouri has just awarded the first nine-figure verdict against J&J.
The massive $110 million compensation figure goes to a Lois Slemp, a 62-year old Virginia resident who has ovarian cancer. Diagnosed five years ago in 2012, Slemp and her legal team successfully argued that J&J failed to warn her and other regular baby powder product users of its potential link to cancer concerns. This despite several reports of internal studies at the company establishing the possibility.
Talcum powder has been in the spotlight ever since. Across two separate cases, Johnson and Johnson has been on the wrong end of verdicts totaling $127 million in compensation, covering medical expenses and punitive damages for the two plaintiffs. Slemp’s case comes close to those on its own, signaling a worrying escalation for the pharma giant and its ever-watchful shareholders. For the public, however,
For the public, however, the jury’s decision is an important win.
In a statement to the press, Slemp’s attorney voiced the desire of thousands of patients who have suffered from the pharmaceutical sector’s broad aversion to transparency:
“I hope this verdict prompts J&J to acknowledge the facts and help educate the medical community and the public about the proper use of their products.”
With talcum powder cancer litigation alone, the Missouri state court has almost two dozen cases on its schedule and thousands more lined up thereafter. At the same time, hundreds of lawsuits have been combined into multidistrict litigation underway in New Jersey. in more state court cases proceeding in California and Delaware and we have the potential
Factor in more state court cases proceeding in California and Delaware, not to mention major complaints surrounding the company’s blood thinner Xarelto, and we have the potential for significant financial damage in J&J’s immediate future.
This latest decision against a household brand name shows that the pharmaceutical sector has a long way to go to win back public trust. As long as J&J continues to fight its responsibility to talcum powder cancer sufferers, the company can expect many more days like this in the court.
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