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According to a recent court filing, Johnson & Johnson now faces talcum powder lawsuits brought by more than 4,000 plaintiffs nationwide, with most involving allegations that years of using Johnson’s Baby Powder or Shower-to-Shower caused adult women to develop ovarian cancer.

There are large dockets of Johnson’s Baby Powder lawsuits and Shower-to-Shower lawsuits pending in various state courts. There are currently cases pending in Missouri that include 1,411 plaintiffs; in California with 472 plaintiffs; in Delaware with about 96 plaintiffs; in New Jersey with 201 plaintiffs and a handful of other states with fewer claims.

The talcum powder cancer lawsuit filed in state court by multiple plaintiffs in Missouri has been removed to federal court by attorneys for Johnson & Johnson, who may transfer the case to a multidistrict litigation in New Jersey.  The federal court uses multidistrict litigation (MDL) to manage large numbers of similar cases by transferring them to a single judge for pre-trial discovery.

Each of the complaints raise similar allegations, indicating that talc contained in the products may migrate through the vagina and increase the risk of ovarian cancer.  Although plaintiffs point to studies and evidence that suggest Johnson & Johnson knew about the risk, the manufacturer continued to push use of talcum powder among adult women for “personal freshness.”

At least three state court cases in Missouri went to trial last year, with verdicts of $70 million returned in November 2016, $55 million in May 2016 and $72 million in February 2016.

Despite the mounting litigation and large verdicts, Johnson  & Johnson  has refused to negotiate talcum powder cancer settlements so far,  indicating that it will continue to defend claims in courts nationwide.


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