The clock is ticking for healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) as the next baby powder cancer trial in Missouri quickly approaches. After three huge multimillion-dollar plaintiff wins in 2016, the company tried to postpone the upcoming 2017 trial.
The 22nd Judicial Circuit Court for the city of St. Louis recently heard arguments from lawyers representing J&J to stay the upcoming trial. However, the company’s efforts to stay the trial were denied.
Jury selection for the next trial is scheduled to begin in April 2017. The trial involves several plaintiffs that developed ovarian cancer after prolonged baby powder use around their groin. The plaintiffs believe J&J knew about the ovarian cancer risk associated with its talcum powder products, but failed to adequately warn consumers.
Throughout the trials, J&J has denied all wrongdoing and continues to defend the safety of its products, but jurors aren’t buying it. Four separate baby powder cancer lawsuits have gone to trial so far, and in every case J&J was found grossly negligent for failing to warn consumers of the risks.
Baby powder lawsuits have been filed across the country. In addition to the cases in Missouri, there is a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) in New Jersey and a coordinated docket of state court claims in California. Lawsuits are also proceeding in Pennsylvania state court and several lawsuits in Delaware have asked for a coordinated docket within that state.
But, baby powder cancer lawsuits are not confined to the United States. Women in Canada filed lawsuits of their own, and over 20 women in Ireland are gearing up to file lawsuits as well.
As J&J continues to fight baby powder cancer lawsuits, the company’s image has taken quite a hit with consumers. Although the company’s consumer products division only accounts for a very small portion of J&J’s overall sales, a bad reputation could spoil the rest of J&J’s brands if the company isn’t careful.