Talcum Powder Lawsuits: No Seasonal Cheer for J&J

Talcum Powder Lawsuits: No Seasonal Cheer for J&J

This season is stressful for all the wrong reasons at Johnson and Johnson, who had more talcum powder lawsuits to handle as we entered the holidays. 

After losing several cases in a row earlier this year, the pharmaceutical giant will now face two new charges of negligence related to talcum powder. The two lawsuits, filed in Texas and West Virginia respectively, both allege that the product contributed to the wrongful death of the plaintiffs’ relatives.

In Texas, widower Marcus Witherspoon filed his suit to fight for the memory of his mother, Mary Ann Witherspoon, who died of ovarian cancer in late 2014. His complaint is a common one among talcum powder lawsuits, arguing that regular use of the body powder contributed to her condition without her knowledge.

The suit in West Virginia also alleges wrongful death, this time in the case of Ann Christine Underwood, who lost her battle with ovarian cancer earlier this year in March. Her daughter, Amy F. Darnold, has taken up the fight for her mother, who was another user of the product who had no reason to believe it was harming her. It is that trust, Darnold believes, that was violated by Johnson & Johnson, prompting her legal challenge.

Both cases contain familiar allegations, not least because Johnson & Johnson was on the losing side of fighting similar charges in cases around the country.

Most relate to the core allegation that its marketers failed to include prominent warnings about the dangers for women with ovarian cancer. Other side effects have provided cause for concern, but it is Johnson & Johnson’s steadfast refusal to acknowledge any link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer that has angered plaintiffs and, indeed, angered the public as a whole.

Other side effects have provided cause for concern, but it is Johnson & Johnson’s steadfast refusal to acknowledge any link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer that has angered plaintiffs and, indeed, concerned the public as a whole.

The company managed to get charges dropped in two lawsuits due to the plaintiffs failing to provide sufficient proof. In thousands of other cases, however, Johnson and Johnson seems to be in trouble.

After losing a $70 million ruling in October, the company was still facing some 1,700 open lawsuits in state and federal courts. The company’s win record is not good for cases decided in 2016 and next year doesn’t look to be much better with these new cases coming right before Christmas.

With many of the lawsuits running into seven-figure damages, the stage is set for ongoing legal challenges throughout next year. 

This is a popular product with many loyal users, so Johnson and Johnson is almost certainly bracing itself for another wave of talcum powder lawsuits in 2017.

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