Johnson & Johnson settles baby powder cancer lawsuit for $72 million
In a major consumer rights case, where a woman with ovarian cancer alleged that her condition was due to the use of Johnson & Johnson talcum based products, including baby powder and Shower to Shower, the defendants have decided to settle the case for $73 million dollars. The plaintiff, who passed away from her cancer, claimed that Johnson & Johnson knew about the risks associated with talcum, and had hidden the information to boost sales of its products. Johnson & Johnson denies this, and claims that cosmetic talcum is safe for consumer use. The settlement includes $10 million in actual damages, and $52 million in punitive damages.
Consumer protection lawsuits are an important method to prevent abuses by corporations. Among consumer protection lawsuits, the cases against the tobacco industry stand out as seminal, not only for targeting powerful industries that knowingly allowed harm to come to their customers, but also for providing the necessary tactics to expose and punish such behavior in the future. Internal memos that acknowledge and conceal problems, a history of falsified or otherwise deficient scientific studies, and many other strategies by companies are still used to avoid acknowledging harm done by products they sell.
However, corporations are attempting to avoid paying out large settlements and verdicts in the future, mostly by creating legal strategies and systems that help them curtail the power of consumer legal remedies. “Tort reform,” a term coined by companies to put a positive spin on lowering damages they pay for wrongdoing, or to prevent suits from being made in the first place, is one strategy. Another that is gaining traction is the process of mandatory arbitration, wherein companies can force their customers to give up their right to sue, and to participate in a private courtroom, where the judge is selected by the corporation.
If you feel that you have been the victim of consumer fraud, contact the Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our firm handles consumer right cases, healthcare fraud, insurance, annuity, and investment fraud, and financial and physical elder abuse.