RSLV News

Johnson & Johnson Told to Pay $4.7 Billion in Baby Powder Lawsuit

major American company, Johnson & Johnson, of selling products that hadnt cancer risks and are actively refusing to warn their customers about them.

The products in question are their famous Johnson & Johnson baby and body powders. The women involved in the case along with their families claimed that their talcum-based powders contained the carcinogen asbestos and were causing ovarian cancer in women who use their products.

The St. Louis jury deliberated over the compensatory damages for over eight hours after a six-week long trial. Conversely, when it came down to deciding the amount for the punitive damages it only took them around 45 minutes of deliberation.

Of the 22 women included in the trial, six had already died before or during the trial. The surviving plaintiffs were all in the court the day that the final verdict from the jury was made.Their families accompanied them all in a show of support. Only one of the plaintiffs could not be there because she was too ill and was in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy during the time the trial was taking place.

Mark Lanier, a lawyer for the women, accused Johnson & Johnson in engaging in a forty year long cover-up in which they purposely hid evidence that their talcum-based products contained traces of asbestos. He argued that they should focus on powders made of cornstarch or begin labeling their products with warnings, much like there are for tobacco and lung cancer.

According to the American Cancer Institute, asbestos is a carcinogen that can sometimes appear in natural talc; it was stripped from commercial products in the 1970’s.

The first trial against Johnson & Johnson accusing them of this occurred in 2013 in a Federal District Court in South Dakota. While the jury found them negligent, they did not award the plaintiff any damages. In another case last year in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the jury awarded the plaintiff  $417 million in damages. That plaintiff has since died. The verdict was then overturned and a new trial granted.

Mr. Lanier, the lawyer in this most recent trial, stated that plaintiffs in talc cases have begun litigating in clusters rather than in large groups. It allows earlier cases to send precedents for future cases and allows the jury to focus more on individual stories – maximizing their emotional impact.

“It’s easier to get justice in small groups,” he said. “In small groups, people have names, but in large groups, they’re numbers.”

As a response to this, Johnson & Johnson said that it was disappointed by the results and plan to appeal. Currently, there are around 9,000 plaintiffs involved these body powders.

The company “remains confident that its products do not contain asbestos and do not cause ovarian cancer and intends to pursue all available appellate remedies,” said a Johnson & Johnson representative.

After this announcement was made, Johnson & Johnson stated that there were many errors in this trial that were not present in other earlier trials which have since been reversed successfully for them. They maintain that all studies on whether this claim is true or not have remained inconclusive.

The National Cancer Institute reported thatevidence does not support the claims in which talc used for feminine hygiene purposes (such as body and baby powders)

Johnson & Johnson also called the verdict “the product of a fundamentally unfair process” because it brought together twenty-two different women with little connections each other, St. Louis, or Missouri and combined their cases into one single group of plaintiffs.

This case now sets a precedent for the many future trials we are bound to see and offers new legal strategies for the 9,000 plaintiffs so that they have a much higher chance of receiving a favorable outcome and damages rewarded to them.

Jurors give $289 million to a man they say got cancer from Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller.

During a massive precedent case, San Francisco jurors ruled that the globally popular brand of fertilizer, Roundup created by the company Monsanto, gave a former school groundskeeper terminal lymphoma

While the money does not change the fact that the groundskeeper, Dewayne Johnson, has terminal cancer,non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma to be exact, there is no doubt that he will live out his remaining years as comfortable as possible and that his family will be taken care of upon his devastating loss. Thanks to the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Johnson’s body is around 80% covered in very painful skin lesions.

Monsanto has long claimed that their product, Roundup, does not cause cancer The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) states in March of 1025 that glyphosate, is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

But Timothy Litzenburg, Johnson’s attorney says that glyphosate alone is not the problem, it’s the combination of ingredients used in Roundup.

Thousands of cases are awaiting trial, but Johnson’s was the very first because, in the State of California, terminal plaintiffs are given expedited trials. Litzenburg stated that he and other attorneys have over 4,000 cases awaiting future trial. He also estimates that there are possibly over 400 cases in federal multidistrict litigation. The main issue that arises in this kind of case is trying to prove that the product caused cancer in the first place. The burden of proof does not belong to Monsanto but to Johnson and other plaintiffs like him.

His lawyer said that what makes it so difficult is that you can’t take an x-ray or a biopsy that will tell you how and when it all began. According to the American Cancer Society, most lymphoma cases are idiopathic, meaning that the causes are unknown.

While Litzenburg agrees that most lymphoma cases in the past could not be linked to a direct cause, he believes that the advancements in medicine are beginning to change that. He cites the that while it is now a known fact that tobacco is a significant contributing factor in the development of lung cancer, it took decades before that was even regarded as a serious hypothesis.

“You can’t take a lung cancer tumor and run a test that proves that tobacco caused that cancer. … You’re seeing the same thing here,” Litzenburg said. “I think we’re in the beginning of that era of this dawning on us as a country — as a public — the connection between these two things.”

Regardless, officials in Monsanto heavily deny that Roundup plays any role in acting as a contributing factor for lymphoma.

More than 800 scientific studies, the US EPA, the National Institutes of Health and regulators around the world have concluded that glyphosate is safe for use and does not cause cancer,” said ScottPartridge, Monsanto’s vice president of strategy.

Patridge’s, which made an in-depth study into the effect of pesticides and glyphosates on farmers and those around them between the years of 1993 and 2003.

He notes that many of these people have been using Roundup since it’s very inception as well as other Monsanto products. A summary of that study said, “no association was apparent between glyphosate and any solid tumors or lymphoid malignancies overall, including NHL (non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma).”

Despite all of this, there are several more cases that are going to go trial in the upcoming months and years, and if they can link Roundup and its ingredients as a contributing factor to lymphoma and possibly other deadly cancers then Monsanto is going to have to either completely change the way they make pesticides or completely drop the products altogether.

As of now, they plan to appeal this case and strongly defend Roundup, a product that has been around for over 40 years around the world. Although, Litzenburg says they are going to likely drop the case because the company would have to pay interest on damages, which is about $25 million for every year the case stay in the trial process – a seemingly insurmountable figure.

DePuy (Johnson & Johnson) Hip Implant Products Liability Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) & Recall News: ASR & Pinnacle

Currently in the appeals process is the $247 million verdict against the manufacturer DePuy Orthopedics, inc., whose parent company is Johnson & Johnson, and their line of metal-on-metal hip implants. DePuy is facing $78 million in punitive damages, and Johnson & Johnson is facing $90 million.

The plaintiffs claimed that the companies were falsely reporting the implants as longer lasting than those made with plastics or ceramics. This product is used to treat joint failure caused by osteoarthritis. The plaintiffs recounted to the jurors their suffering and injuries that resulted from using this product. These include tissue damage, which led to permanent muscle loss, loss of hip movement, intense pain, and permanent limps in their walks. They also claimed that the product shed metal into their bodies by a process called metallosis, in which the implants shed microscopic metal ions.

After hearing these testimonies, the jury found Johnson & Johnson and DePuyguilty and was  “liable for design defect, negligent design, inadequate warning, manufacturing defect, negligent manufacture, negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment from the plaintiffs and from the surgeons and deceptive business practices as to the plaintiffs and the surgeons, intentional misrepresentation to the surgeons who performed the initial hip implant surgeries on the plaintiffs.” They also found Johnson & Johnson Johnson & Johnson and DePuy guilty of intentionally misleading their consumers.

plaintiffs. In another bellwether trial, the jury yielded a $500 million reward to five plaintiffs.

In 1995, a senior engineer by the name of Dr. Graham Isaac, who was working with DePuy, allegedly reported that these kinds of implants were unpredictable and likely prone to what they called “catastrophic breakdown.” He also noted that while these implanted “worked well for a period,” they eventually wore down, and the result was metal debris that would be released into the body which would likely turn into toxic levels of metal.

In his 1995 memo, Dr. Isaac examined data on metal-on-metal hips that had been produced by companies making similar implants:

“It is clear from the literature the survivorship of cobalt chromium [the materials used in metal implants], metal-on-metal prostheses in the past have been far from satisfactory. Manufacturing methods have improved. However, simulator testing of such components suggests their performance is as unpredictable as ever, working well for a period before suffering a sudden catastrophic breakdown of the bearing surface accompanied by a release of a large volume of wear debris.”

Even more damning, in 2010, a U.S. orthopedic surgeon by the name of John Irving, wrote an email to the president of DePuy that continuing these implants to market was borderline unethical until these issues were no longer a concern. He stated that the firm was intentionally turning a blind eye to the products and that these products were harming the very patients they were supposed to be helping. This email occurred three years before the implant was discontinued altogether after the United States Food and Drug Administration changed its artificial hip regulations.

At the time of the implants initial release, the FDA did not require DePuy to undergo clinical trials for their product instead; they submitted a section 510(k) premarket notification of intent to market the hip. This means that they were able to avoid safety review usually required because they represented their design as “substantially equivalent” to other hip products that had been currently in the market at the time.