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Johnson & Johnson gets a new opportunity to contest science in talc litigation

Johnson & Johnson will get an overhaul in its fight in the face of more than 50k lawsuits alleging the famous baby powder could cause cancer of the ovaries. A New Jersey court ruled on Wednesday that J&J could challenge the findings of science that support these cases.

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In a text or order in a text order, Federal District Judge Michael Shipp determined that a hearing was needed and cited the latest “relevant science” and recent changes to the Federal Rules of Evidence 702 that allow judges the ability to reject faulty expert testimony.

The ruling calls an order from 2019 by Shipp’s predecessor, Chief District Judge Freda Wolfson, which gave an enormous boost to the plaintiffs. The order permitted five experts from their team to be a part of bellwether trials that were held up by two bankruptcy cases involving talc that were unsuccessfully tried by J&J and are still to be scheduled.

Shipp was appointed to handle the multidistrict, consolidated litigation after Wolfson was laid off in February 2023. He had been overseeing the case since.

Shipp required motions to be submitted by July 23rd and oppositions due by August 22nd.

In an announcement, J&J called previous evidence that was allowed for “junk science.”

“The appellate courts of this and other states have recently and repeatedly rejected as flawed and fabricated the opinions of the purported ‘experts’ bought and paid for by the plaintiff’s bar, and the evidence recently revealed has shown the opinions were deliberately designed to defame and deceive,” Erik Haas, J&J’s head of litigation stated in an announcement.

For more than a decade, J&J has claimed that its talc products — which were removed from the market in 2022 — do not cause cancer. J&J has substituted their baby powder with cornstarch.

Leigh O’Dell of Beasley Allen and Michelle Parfitt of Ashcraft Gerel, who is the co-lead attorney for the steering group, stated in a statement the evidence “is stronger than ever,” highlighting the risks associated with Johnson’s Baby Powder.

“The truth of J&J’s deceptive conduct to hide the presence of carcinogens in talcum powder and mislead the medical and scientific communities has only become clearer over time,” they added, adding they believe that their “conclusions were confirmed by regulatory agencies such as Health Canada and the International Agency for the Research on Cancer.”

A few months back, J&J filed two lawsuits against four doctors who had been in court to testify, claiming that the company’s talc-based products caused mesothelioma.

While J&J has opposed the federal lawsuit that is consolidated, it has also fought the individual cases by state court. This month, a lawsuit in Florida was resolved in a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach an agreement on a verdict.

J&J has won more times than it did in its talc-related cases but in 2021 it was the Supreme Court rejected the company’s appeal of the $2.11 billion judgment in a case filed by women representing 12 states.

As of December 20th, 2023, J&J began preparations to file for its third bankruptcy effort by filing for a move from its subsidiary for litigation involving talc LTL Management from New Jersey to Texas. Previous Chapter 11 attempts failed when settlement offers from J&J were rejected.

J&J hopes for a verdict like the December 2022 decision that relieved Sanofi, GSK and Boehringer Ingelheim of more than 50,000 lawsuits filed in the federal multidistrict lawsuit against their heartburn medicine Zantac. The decision in Florida has overturned prior scientific findings.

Seeking Justice for Your Talcum Powder Injuries

The legal battle over J&J’s talcum product continues with huge settlements and ongoing lawsuits by individuals. Suppose someone else you know develops mesothelioma or ovarian cancer due to a talcum powder product. In that case, You may be eligible for reimbursement for medical expenses or lost wages as well as suffering and pain.

Do not put off seeking justice. The longer you delay and the longer you wait, the more difficult it can be to construct a convincing case. Call The Justice Now today for a no-cost consultation. You deserve to be compensated for the hurt you’ve sustained.

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