Johnson & Johnson has defended lawsuits alleging that their baby talc caused ovarian cancer to women in the past, but what is at stake in a trial that begins on Wednesday in St. Louis is much more important, on both 22 Women try to relate their disease to the asbestos exposure of the company Talc.
The case is part of a recent wave of accusations that the company sold talcum Powder in its iconic white Johnson Baby powder containers Knowing that it was contaminated with asbestos and did not warn consumers to protect the Brand. The company categorically claims that there is no asbestos in the baby powder and that the product is safe.
"Johnson Baby powder does not contain asbestos or cause ovarian cancer and we will continue to defend the safety of our product," said J & J spokesman Carol Goodrich in a statement sent by email.
While some state court juries in St. Louis ruled that J & J's Talc products had caused ovarian cancer, they never focused on the plant that the product was contaminated with asbestos and that women unknowingly They exposed that carcinogen when using it.
"The move is risky for plaintiffs ' lawyers because they are testing a new theory and it might not hold," said Jean Eggen, a professor of law at Widener University who teaches about cases of collective lawsuits. "Everything will be reduced to whether the jury believes there are scientific data to support the theory."
The situation is also dangerous for J & J, because the lawyers of women who attack their products with Talc have convinced other jurors of the same court to grant an indemnity of US $110 million to an individual.
Indemnities of this magnitude for the 22 plaintiffs or their families would place J & J in the situation of having to pay morethan $2 billion. J & J also won a defense verdict in St. Louis and repealed the first plaintiff's compensation.
J & J also pounds a battle with plaintiffs who blame the company's talc products for being the cause of their mesothelioma. Asbestos is a mineral that is often found near the talcum deposits. It has been closely related to mesothelioma, a form of cancer that is often found in the lungs.
J & J still faces demands for talc presented by more than 9,000 claimants. These focus mainly on ovarian cancer cases, according to a report presented in May. The figure was 1,200 in 2016. An unknown number of consumers argue that J & J Talc Products caused mesothelioma.
Mark Lanier, the chief advocate of the 22 women, claims to have discovered vast amounts of evidence showing that J & J officials knew in the years 60 that their baby talc was contaminated at least with asbestos remains and They hid the product's cancer risks to protect their reputation.
Source: The Trade