Johnson and Johnson

J & J Hit With $110 Million Verdict in Baby Powder Lawsuit

Baby Powder Found to Cause Ovarian Cancer

Following up on an earlier post regarding Johnson & Johnson and the ongoing baby powder lawsuit, Thursday saw a jury return a verdict against J & J for $110 million. The plaintiff was a Virginia woman who says she developed ovarian cancer after decades of using of its talc-based products for feminine hygiene.

The crux of the case is Johnson and Johnson not warning consumers about the cancer risk associated with the use of its talc based products including “Shower to Shower” and the popular Johnson’s Baby Powder.  Many of those lawsuits are pending in St. Louis, where the J&J has faced four prior trials, three of which resulted in $197 million verdicts against J&J and a talc supplier.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit, Lois Slemp, is a resident of Virginia who is currently undergoing chemotherapy after her ovarian cancer initially diagnosed in 2012 returned and spread to her liver.  Slemp claimed she developed cancer after four decades of using talc-containing products produced by J&J, including J&J’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Powder.

The jury awarded $5.4 million in compensatory damages and said J&J was 99 percent at fault while Imerys, the talc supplier, was just 1 percent negligent. It awarded punitive damages of $105 million against J&J and $50,000 against Imerys.

Visit our J & J Talc Litigation Page for more information.

If you have a question about talc and feel that you may have a claim, please call us at (225) 933-1500 or contact us.


Audi Volkswagen Porsche

Volkswagen to pay $157 million to 10 states in settlement of emissions cheating lawsuit

Volkswagen’s Emission’s Cheating Plan

A multi-state court settlement has occurred with auto manufacturer Volkswagen over its emissions cheating plan and use of software designed to produce false readings on vehicle emissions tests.

Volkswagen, based in Wolfsburg, Germany, has agreed to pay $157 million to 10 states to settle emissions cheating plan environmental lawsuits filed last year concerning the company’s use of the software.

 The settlement marks the first time these 10 states  – all of which have adopted California’s stringent vehicle emission standards – have secured an environmental settlement from an automobile manufacturer for violations of state emissions laws.

Maine’s Attorney General Janet Mills says “We will not tolerate the flouting of our state’s environmental laws, the legacy of Senators Ed Muskie and George Mitchell. We will enforce Maine’s environmental standards stringently.”  “Our air, water and natural resources and the health of our people are critically important. The action by VW to deliberately violate Maine’s motor vehicle emission standards affected all of us and it was important to bring this action on behalf of the people of Maine.”

The settlement covers 3-liter, six-cylinder diesel engines and is separate from a $603 million agreement reached last year with 44 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico that covered 2-liter engines, according to the Associated Press.

Maine’s share of the money will go toward funding “environmentally beneficial projects and programs across the state.” Maine is entitled to receive $5,162,281, one of the smaller payouts, with Pennsylvania getting the largest settlement amount, $30,434,055.

The complaint against Volkswagen alleged the company and its subsidiaries, Audi and Porsche, secretly used unlawful software in vehicles to circumvent state emission laws.  The company sold more than 570,000 cars and sport utility vehicles that exceeded pollution standards in Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pennsylvania and Washington.  See Story Here. Big Pharma Liability

New Pharmaceutical Rules Restrict Injured Plaintiff’s Rights

Rules Endorsed by Pharmaceutical Drug Makers

This article, by The Collective Evolution, aptly describes new Congressional Bills that are adverse to those injured by legal drugs, but also might create a windfall for Big Pharma.  Read the story HERE.

If you’re hurt by a pharmaceutical, you can sue the company that made the drug, and be compensated for your losses, right? Most people assume that is the way the justice system works, but the reality is that it’s difficult, and in many cases impossible, for victims of pharmaceutical companies (and other big corporations/industries) to gain compensation or justice.

There are many aspects of the current U.S. legal system that make getting compensation and justice for injuries caused by pharmaceutical drugs difficult, and there are two bills that are currently going through the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 985, the 2017 Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act and H.R. 1215, the Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017) that will make justice for victims of pharmaceuticals nearly impossible.

They Can Hurt You as Long as You Were Warned

Currently, people who are hurt by pharmaceuticals are in a legal catch-22 because victims of pharmaceuticals can’t sue drug companies for hurting them, they can only sue for failure to warn. So, if a pharmaceutical drug gives you cancer, you can’t sue the company that made the drug for the fact that it gave you cancer, you can only sue them for failing to warn you IF the warning label doesn’t contain information about the drug causing cancer. If the warning label says that the drug can cause cancer, you can’t sue, because “you were warned.” Even if you were never given the drug warning label, you “were warned” as far as the justice system is concerned — because the learned intermediary doctrine states that pharmaceutical manufacturers aren’t obligated to inform you, the consumer/patient/victim, they’re only obligated to inform the doctor, the “learned intermediary,” about the potential harm that the drug can cause.

If a pharmaceutical drug causes your cancer, but that isn’t noted on the pharmaceutical warning label, you’re not much better off, because proving that a pharmaceutical caused your cancer is near-impossible for a regular person. The only situation in which a person can sue a pharmaceutical drug company for the harm done by their products is when a drug warning label changes. If a pharmaceutical drug warning label changes, there is enough evidence that the drug did the harm, but people who took the drug prior to the warning label change weren’t properly warned, so there is a short window of opportunity for victims to sue and gain recourse/justice for the harm done to them. The inherently dangerous nature of pharmaceutical drugs, the warning labels that accompany them, and the way our justice system is structured, make it so that the vast majority of those who suffer harm from pharmaceutical drugs are unable to sue the maker of the drug(s) that hurt them.

Victims of Generic Pharmaceuticals Can’t Sue

On top of that, victims of generic pharmaceuticals are completely unable to sue the manufacturer of the pharmaceutical drug that hurt them. This is an absurd situation that is an extreme miscarriage of justice. You can read more about the inability of victims to sue makers of generic pharmaceuticals in the New York Times article “In 5-4 Ruling, Justices Say Generic Makers Are Not Liable for Design of Drugs” and the posts on, “SCOTUS Decision on Medication Safety: No Product Liability” and “Hurt by a Generic Drug? Victims have no Recourse unless the FDA Changes Rules.” Basically, if you are hurt by a generic drug, you have no recourse because cannot sue a generic drug manufacturer. The FDA has the power to change this situation, but they have failed to do so over the 3+ years that they have been deliberating how they might address it.

The Law Firm wants to help you in medical products liability cases, and other products liability cases.  Call (225) 933-1500 or contact us today.