Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay $260 Million in Talcum Powder Lawsuit

In a landmark decision on June 3, 2024, a jury in Portland’s 4th Judicial District Circuit Court found Johnson & Johnson liable for $260 million in damages to Kyung Lee, an Oregon woman who developed mesothelioma after using the company’s talcum powder. The jury awarded $60 million in compensatory damages and $200 million in punitive damages to Lee and her husband.

The $260 million verdict in favor of Kyung Lee represents a significant victory for victims in the talcum powder lawsuits.

Kyung Lee, diagnosed with mesothelioma at the age of 48 last year, linked her deadly cancer to asbestos exposure from Johnson & Johnson’s talc powder. This verdict adds to the mounting legal and financial pressures facing the pharmaceutical giant.

J&J Aims to Secure Settlement

Johnson & Johnson is currently engaged in a broader legal battle, attempting to settle a vast number of talcum powder lawsuits through a proposed $6.48 billion prepackaged bankruptcy settlement. J&J proposed the deal in May 2024.

The company is contending with over 61,000 plaintiffs, most of whom are women with ovarian cancer claims, while a smaller group, like Lee, suffer from mesothelioma. J&J has settled the majority of mesothelioma cases but continues to face scrutiny and legal challenges.

For the proposed bankruptcy settlement to be approved, Johnson & Johnson requires the consent of 75% of the remaining plaintiffs. The settlement aims to resolve the vast majority of ongoing talcum powder lawsuits, precluding future cases and preventing plaintiffs from opting out.

Johnson & Johnson Talc Powder Lawsuit, Talcum Baby Powder

Past attempts by J&J to resolve talc powder cases through bankruptcy have been rejected by courts.

In April 2023, LTL Management LLC (LTL), a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson submitted a bankruptcy protection application. Judge Michael Kaplan of the New Jersey bankruptcy court overturned the LTL bankruptcy confirmation after previously endorsing it. In January 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, located in Philadelphia, revoked LTL’s bankruptcy status.

Recently, a group of plaintiffs opposed to the settlement filed a class action lawsuit on May 22, 2024, arguing that the proposed deal is a “fraudulent” misuse of the bankruptcy system. This ongoing legal strife underscores the contentious and high-stakes nature of the litigation surrounding Johnson & Johnson’s talc products.

Background on Talc Powder Lawsuits

Talc is a natural mineral and the primary ingredient in talcum powder. Talc can contain small amounts of asbestos, a known carcinogen. Concerns about asbestos exposure have arisen. A 2018 Reuters investigation uncovered that Johnson & Johnson knew since the 1970s that testing had detected small amounts of asbestos in some baby powder but did not share the information with regulators.

Thousands of people have filed claims alleging that talc powder caused them to develop cancer. J&J removed talc-based baby powder from the North American market in 2020 but continues to defend the safety of its product.

Recent Talcum Powder Lawsuit Updates

May 2024 – a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that talc powder use was associated with ovarian cancer.

April 2024 – An Illinois court ordered Johnson & Johnson and its Kenvue division to pay $45 million in damages to the family of Theresa Garcia, who died of mesothelioma.

January 2024 – J&J agreed to pay over $700 million to resolve an investigation by more than 40 states into allegations that marketing for talc-based baby powder failed to warn consumers about health risks.

Contact Rueb Stoller Daniel Today!

If you or a family member have developed cancer due to talcum powder, contact Rueb Stoller Daniel today at 1-866-CALL-RSD for a free consultation. We are one of the leading mass tort & class action law firms in America, with the results to back it up.

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