In a highly unusual move, Johnson & Johnson abruptly settled the case of a woman with malignant mesothelioma who charged in her state court lawsuit that she got cancer from using the company’s talcum powder.
New York Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe in Manhattan had just finished instructing the jury before opening statements were to begin. Shortly afterwards, attorneys for J&J and plaintiff Laura Shanahan, age 62, met with the judge in chambers. Moments later they emerged and the judge told the jury the case was over.
The amount of the settlement is secret.
It was the latest trial against Johnson & Johnson over claims its Baby Powder and Shower to Shower talcum powders were contaminated with cancer-causing asbestos.
The company faces 15,299 cases nationwide in separate federal litigation in MDL 2738 before Chief United States District Judge Freda Wolfson in New Jersey, IN RE: Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Products Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation.
So far, all the action has been in state courts. Jerome Block and Amber Long of Levy Konigsberg represent plaintiff Shanahan.
J&J’s lawyers were John Ewald of King & Spalding, Thomas Kurland of Patterson Belknap, and Shasha Zou and Matthew Bush of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe.
Johnson & Johnson has known about cancer-causing asbestos in its talc products since 1957. But in a deny-and-attack litigation strategy, the company has lied about it to consumers and the government, has faked research, has covered up its own findings about asbestos in talc, has bullied independent researchers and has stonewalled litigants.
The U.S. Justice Department started a criminal investigation in July 2019 into whether Johnson & Johnson lied to the public about the possible cancer risks of its talcum powder. A grand jury in Washington, DC, is examining documents related to what company officials knew about any carcinogens in their products.
The FDA announced on October 18, 2019, that over 33,000 bottles of Johnson’s Baby Powder were voluntarily recalled after testing positive for asbestos. Johnson & Johnson voluntarily recalled one lot of baby powder, after a sample tested positive for asbestos.
Juries in state courts have held J&J liable for failing to warn consumers that its talc products cause fatal ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.
Through it all, J&J implausibly contends that its baby powder and talcum powder is “safe” – a claim that has been proven wrong.
For a summary of J&J’s win-loss record in court, visit https://www.masstortnexus.com/News/5416/Attacking-and-Lying-Johnson-And-Johnson-is-Battered-by-Talcum-Powder–Cancer-Litigation