Talc Lawsuits: Johnson & Johnson Shareholders Reject Global Talc Ban

According to a recent shareholder vote, Johnson & Johnson will not discontinue global sales of its signature baby powder. The proposal comes in the wake of mass litigation Johnson & Johnson (J&J) faces for its talc-based baby powder, which many women claim to have caused their cancer. 

While Johnson & Johnson no longer sells baby powder products in the United States and Canada, the product is still on the market for many consumers worldwide. The shareholder proposal for the global ban was initiated by activist investor group, Tulipshare. 

Forbes India reports that Tulipshare argues that Johnson & Johnson could help prevent future liability claims through the ban. The company currently faces more than 40,000 lawsuits. 

The Status of the Baby Powder Lawsuits

Litigation is still pending against Johnson & Johnson for baby powder lawsuits after several key events in the case took place in late 2021 and early 2022. 

According to Reuters, the company successfully filed for bankruptcy last year, taking advantage of a Texas law that allowed J&J to move its talc liability into a subsidiary, LTL Management. Despite objections from plaintiffs in the lawsuits, federal bankruptcy judge Michael Kaplan later approved the Chapter 11 filing, calling bankruptcy a legitimate means of resolving J&J’s talc liability.

Johnson & Johnson’s Recent Challenge to Lawsuits Denied

Following its successful bankruptcy filing, Johnson & Johnson challenged the validity of the talc lawsuits, arguing for bankruptcy protections. Most recently, J&J contested the validity of a wrongful death suit, which claims that the company’s industrial talc mining conditions led workers to asbestos exposure. 

The decedent in the case originally filed the lawsuit in 1986 but agreed to drop the case after expert witness testimony presented by Johson & Johnson claimed industrial talc had no asbestos. New evidence in the latest lawsuits, however, reveals that J&J was aware of asbestos contamination for decades.

Judge Kaplan denied J&J’s challenge, permitting the lawsuit to proceed. 

J&J Continues to Defend Baby Powder’s Safety

The New York Times reports that despite Johnson & Johnson’s decision to remove baby powder from the North American market in 2020, the company claims that its baby powder does not contain asbestos and does not cause cancer.

J&J said the decision to remove Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products from the market was made based on changing consumer habits and a distrust of the product stemming from lawsuits. 

People Harmed by J&J’s Baby Powder Can Still File a Lawsuit

Even though litigation against Johnson & Johnson is currently paused, you could file a lawsuit if its talc-based powders harmed you. Plaintiffs seek damages for their losses associated with various forms of cancer, such as ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. Injury victims could pursue damages for medical bills, lost wages, and more. 

To get a product liability case review, fill out our contact form online to get connected with a talc powder mass tort lawsuit lawyer in our network. You could receive a free case review to learn more about your legal options.