A Missouri jury awarded $72 million to a family who lost their loved one to ovarian cancer at age 62. The cancer was linked to her many years of using Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for feminine hygiene care. Johnson & Johnson did not warn its consumers that their talc-based products may cause cancer. The evidence presented at trial showed that the company knew of the risk of their cancer-causing products as far back as the 1980s and lied to its consumers by withholding that information.
The Missouri jury sat through a three-week trial and deliberated four hours, and ultimately found that Johnson & Johnson was liable for negligence, fraud, and conspiracy. The case style is Hogans, et al v Johnson & Johnson, et al, filed in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, Missouri, Case Number 1422-CC09012.
Approximately one thousand cases have reportedly been filed in a state court in Missouri and approximately two hundred cases have been filed in New Jersey. Many other lawsuits involving talc are expected this year.
Johnson & Johnson was also involved in several others lawsuits in 2015 resulting in large monetary awards to the Plaintiffs who took the drug Risperdal, causing abnormal breast development in males. It is alleged that Johnson & Johnson withheld information and did not warn its consumers that Risperdal antipsychotics may cause gynecomastia, which is abnormal breast development in males. Several cases were settled out of court, but the case involving an autistic child who took Risperdal in 2002 and then later developed 46 DD breasts was tried to a Philadelphia jury, resulting in a $2.5 million verdict. An expert who testified for the family in this case testified under oath that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the risks, but did not disclose this information.
Dangerous, defective products cause thousands of deaths and injuries in the U.S. every year. Product liability rules establishing fault for a dangerous or defective product are different from the laws regarding other types of personal injuries. Product liability laws make the seller or manufacturer liable for a defective product. Product liability claims are typically based on state laws. See Arkansas Code 4-86-102.
Different types of product defects include: Marketing defects, design defects and manufacturing defects.
- A marketing defect would be considered a flaw in the way the product is marketed and advertised to the public, such as wrong labeling, instructions that are insufficient, or safety warnings that are inadequate;
- A design defect is a defect that is present from the beginning before the product hits the manufacturing stage, which includes a design that is unsafe;
- A manufacturing defect occurs in the assembly or manufacture of the product.
Any person or party responsible involved in the chain of distribution of a product may be held liable for a defective product. The list of chain of distributors may include:
- The manufacturer of the product;
- One or more of the manufacturers of any of the components of the product;
- A person that installed or assembled the product;
- The store or wholesaler that the product was purchased from.
The Pfeifer Law Firm is an Arkansas products liability law firm who believes in holding a company or manufacturer responsible for defective products. Product liability lawyers are advocates for the victim that will stand up to these big companies who put profit over people. Big pharmaceutical companies and manufacturing companies should be held liable for their deceptive actions when they withhold data from a consumer which in turn causes death or harm to the individual. When a company decides that profits are more important than a person’s life, they should be held responsible.
A few of Johnson & Johnson’s products include:
- Baby care products, such as lotions and baby wash, Desitin, Baby Powder, and other products;
- Cleaners such as Neutrogena and Aveeno, along with many other facial cleansing products;
- Wound care products such as Band-Aid brand adhesive bandages, Neosporin, and many others;
- Oral hygiene products such as Listerine and Rembrandt;
- Over-the-Counter medicines such as Tylenol, Nicorette, Motrin, Benadryl, Zyrtec, and others;
- Vision care, such as Visine.
Johnson & Johnson markets many products, a lot of which are not listed above. A quick look at the product’s bottle or container will tell you the maker of the product. You can do a quick internet search if you have concerns about the risks of the products you are using. We would like to assume that any product that is sold in stores is safe, but unfortunately that’s not the case.
US Johnson & Johnson Verdict, February 24, 2016
Johnson & Johnson Loses Trial Over Risperdal and Male Breasts, February 24, 2015