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Judge certifies Johnson & Johnson shareholder class action over talc disclosures

A federal judge has said Johnson & Johnson shareholders could take on a class action their lawsuit, accusing the company of deceiving its customers about the fact that its talc products were infected with asbestos that causes cancer.

Johnsons&johnson

NEW YORK, Dec 29 (The Justice Now) –U.S. District Judge Zahid Quraishi in Trenton, New Jersey, on Friday granted shareholders between February. 22, 2013, through December. 13, 2018, to file securities fraud claims together as an entire group.

He resisted J&J’s claim that any class must not be less than a year shorter due to the fact that certain circumstances that caused the price to drop were not accompanied by “new” information.

J&J’s talc-based products include its baby powder. The company stopped selling baby powder made of talc in the year 2012 and has switched to corn starch as its primary ingredient. The company has stated that its products containing talc are safe and don’t contain asbestos.

“Johnson & Johnson always strives to provide truthful and fulsome disclosures,” Erik Haas, J&J’s global vice president of litigation, issued an announcement. “We will continue to vigorously litigate cases that challenge the safety of our product or the accuracy of our public statements.”

Attorneys representing shareholders, including the principal plaintiff, San Diego County Employees Retirement Association, did not immediately reply to inquiries for comment.

Class actions allow shareholders to obtain more money at a lower cost as opposed to suing separately. A longer period of class action can increase the amount that is recovered.

Shareholders reported that J&J’s price dropped six times between the latter half of 2017 and 2018 due to events that revealed that J&J’s New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company and its executives concealed the facts about asbestos found in its talc-based products.

These included a juror that awarded $4.69 billion back in July of 2018 in the case of 22 women who claimed asbestos was the cause of their development of cancer of the ovary and a Reuters report six months later, which said J&J was aware of asbestos dangers for years.

J&J stated that the six events would not have impacted its stock price as there was no additional information or data that “corrected” its earlier disclosures.

The only information new from jury verdicts was the fact that they backed the women’s arguments and that all the 56 internal documents that were mentioned in the Reuters report were already available to the public.

Quraishi was not convinced. In response to his comments on the Reuters report, Quraishi said the report’s “careful analysis” and providing of “necessary context” made it more than just a repeat of the same “stale information.”

The share price dropped 10% on the same day the report was published.

J&J is also a target of mass tort litigation, which includes over 50,000 cases related to its Talc products.

Courts have rejected two attempts from the firm to utilize bankruptcy to restrict its liability to litigation involving talc.

If you or your loved ones  have a history of using Johnson & Johnson Talcum and they are diagnosed with cancer or any major health condition, We can still help you. Feel free to take your case evaluation – at no cost. Our Lawsuit expert will study your case and help you get compensation, If you qualify. 

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