According to a recent Bloomberg article, Johnson & Johnson recently reached a settlement of $2 million midway through a trial to determine the validity of a woman’s claim that asbestos in baby powder talc caused her cancer (J&J Said to Pay More Than $2 Million in Rare Talc Accord). The deal was a departure from the pharmaceutical giant’s established strategy of fighting the many thousands of other talc cases.
The California State Court jury had already heard over two weeks of testimony when they were informed of the settlement. Although it is certainly uncommon for Johnson & Johnson to settle a talc case in the middle of a trial, it has resolved a number of cases before trial or after trial proceedings had begun.
“In litigation of every nature there are one-off situations where settlement is a reasonable alternative,” Johnson & Johnson spokesperson Kim Montagnino said in a statement. “The decision to resolve any particular case in no way changes our overall position that our talc is safe, is asbestos free and does not cause cancer.”
The plaintiff, a 61-year-old woman who had used baby powder for decades, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2018 and likely has less than two years to live. Mesothelioma has been linked to long-term exposure to asbestos by a number of scientific studies.
Johnson & Johnson is battling over 17,000 claims that it sold its baby powder for years while hiding from the public that it was made with asbestos-tainted talc. In January, the state of New Mexico sued the drugmaker for misleading the state’s consumers regarding the safety of its baby powder products.
Although the details of the terms of the settlement in this case were not made public, it is important to note that it may reflect a change in Johnson & Johnson’s strategy for disposing of talc claims moving forward. So far the company has been fighting these cases at trial one by one, but it will be important to file your case as soon as possible before the establishment of an organized settlement program that may limit your recovery.
If you have mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, or another form of cancer and have been exposed to products containing talc, please call Davis, Bethune & Jones at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will ensure that your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve.