For women who have developed ovarian cancer from baby powder use, the road to hold Johnson & Johnson (J&J) responsible for failing to warn consumers of the risks will be a long one. However, for women in California, a judge has recently granted a court order that will help women reach a resolution just a little bit faster.
Baby powder cancer lawsuits filed in California will be coordinated in a Judicial Council Coordinated Proceeding (JCCP) in an effort to “promote the ends of justice.” The coordinated proceedings will be in Los Angeles County because it is anticipated that the majority of plaintiffs will be from Southern California. It is expected that the number of baby powder cancer lawsuits filed in California will continue to increase, possibly reaching as many as 2,000.
Plaintiffs in the coordinated California cases will closely watch the fourth baby powder trial currently underway in St. Louis. J&J has lost three baby powder trials so far, and two this year have resulted in multimillion-dollar damage awards to the plaintiffs.
Although J&J has stated it intends to fight all of the baby powder lawsuits, another plaintiff’s verdict in the fourth trial could have the company second-guessing itself. J&J currently faces thousands of baby powder cancer lawsuits across the country and the number of lawsuits could potentially climb into the ten thousands.
Key pieces of evidence in past baby powder trials have shown the company knew about the link between its baby powder products and ovarian cancer, but devised marketing strategies to overcome consumer concern about the dangers of its products.
Consumers have been outraged by the company’s negligence, and J&J’s image is suffering as a result. Many consumers are ditching the company’s products for more natural alternatives, and it will likely take more than rebranding for J&J to repair the trust lost with consumers.