Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuits Gain Momentum as Litigation Resumes Against Johnson & Johnson

Talcum powder cancer lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson are back on track after a lengthy litigation stay. The lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson allege that the company’s talcum powder products, including its iconic talc-based Baby Powder, caused ovarian cancer and mesothelioma in consumers. After a series of bankruptcy filings and legal battles, progress is finally being made in the federal talcum powder multidistrict litigation (MDL). Contact Consumer Safety Watch today to learn more about recent developments in the talcum powder litigation and the path forward for talc powder cancer lawsuits.

History of the Talcum Powder Litigation

The talcum powder litigation dates back to 2016 when multiple lawsuits were consolidated into a federal MDL. Plaintiffs in the MDL claimed that regular use of Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products led to the development of ovarian cancer or mesothelioma. However, the litigation faced significant delays due to bankruptcy filings and legal maneuvering by Johnson & Johnson.

Bankruptcy Filings and Litigation Stay

Johnson & Johnson attempted to shield itself from the talcum powder lawsuits by transferring liability to a subsidiary called LTL Management and then having the subsidiary file for bankruptcy protection. The initial bankruptcy filing was rejected by the court in March 2023, as LTL Management was found not to be in financial distress. Johnson & Johnson made a second bankruptcy filing in July 2023, hoping to use the bankruptcy system to force a settlement with current and future talcum powder plaintiffs. However, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael B. Kaplan rejected this second filing, stating that it was “filed in bad faith.”

Litigation Resumes: A Step Forward for Talcum Powder Lawsuits

Following the rejection of the second bankruptcy filing, Judge Kaplan lifted the litigation stay, allowing new talcum powder lawsuits to be filed against Johnson & Johnson and LTL Management. At least 21 new complaints were filed on the first day after the stay was lifted. This development brings hope to thousands of talcum powder cancer plaintiffs who have been awaiting their day in court.

Judge Shipp Takes Over the Talcum Powder MDL

U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson, who was initially assigned to the talcum powder MDL, announced her retirement earlier this year. As a result, Judge Michael Shipp has taken over the management of the cases. Judge Shipp has wasted no time in moving the litigation forward and has issued several orders to streamline the proceedings.

One significant order issued by Judge Shipp addresses the unfortunate reality that some plaintiffs have passed away while waiting for their cases to be resolved. Attorneys representing deceased plaintiffs now have 180 days to file a motion to substitute a proper party or provide an explanation if a substitute cannot be selected. This order aims to ensure that justice is served for all parties involved, even those who are no longer able to advocate for themselves.

Pushing for Talcum Powder Bellwether Trials

Prior to the litigation stay, the parties involved in the talcum powder lawsuits were planning a series of bellwether trials. These trials serve as litmus tests, helping to gauge how juries are likely to respond to specific evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation. However, due to the delays caused by the bankruptcy filings, these trials have been postponed for over two years.

Plaintiffs Urge Expedited Trial Preparations

Given the delays that have already transpired, plaintiffs’ lawyers are eager to resume trial preparations and move the cases toward trial as quickly as possible. They argue that Johnson & Johnson’s bankruptcy maneuvers have needlessly delayed the litigation, preventing thousands of women with ovarian cancer from having their day in court. The toll on plaintiffs has been significant, with more than 2,700 represented by members of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee passing away during the pendency of the bankruptcy proceedings.

Seeking Justice for Talcum Powder Plaintiffs

Judge Shipp, recognizing the urgency of the situation, has scheduled a status conference to discuss the next steps in the talcum powder litigation. The conference aims to address the relitigation of challenges to the admissibility of certain expert witnesses and determine whether plaintiffs can resume preparations for bellwether trials. The outcomes of these trials will play a significant role in shaping the value of any potential settlement Johnson & Johnson may be required to pay.

Find Out How Consumer Safety Watch Can Help

While the journey to justice for talcum powder plaintiffs has been long and arduous, recent developments signal a renewed momentum in the litigation. With the litigation stay lifted, new lawsuits filed, and Judge Shipp’s apparent commitment to moving the cases forward, there is hope that those affected by the alleged dangers of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products will finally have their voices heard. To find out whether you may be eligible to file a talcum powder cancer claim and pursue compensation for your injuries, contact Consumer Safety Watch as soon as possible. 

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