February 22, 2021 – A news report posted on Reuters.com states that Johnson & Johnson set aside $3.9 billion in litigation expenses, which will be used for its talc-related litigation, reserves, and some talc-related settlements. Johnson & Johnson faces 25,000 talc cancer lawsuits filed by consumers who used their baby powder products and allege that Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products contain traces of asbestos which caused their cancers. Last November, Johnson & Johnson set aside approximately $2.1 billion for talc verdicts.
Johnson & Johnson has encountered heightened scrutiny over its talc-based baby powder’s safety after a 2018 Reuters news report exposed how executives for Johnson & Johnson knew about the problem of asbestos contamination in its talc product for decades. The article reported on trial testimony, internal company records, and other evidence sources that discovered Johnson & Johnson’s raw talc and finished talcum powders occasionally tested positive for asbestos in testing from 1971 to around 2000.
Johnson & Johnson has brought a damages award appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Johnson & Johnson is trying to appeal a Missouri jury award of $2.12 billion in damages in one ovarian cancer trial the company lost. In another trial, a New York state judge ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $120 million in damages to a Brooklyn woman who stated her cancer was caused by its asbestos-contaminated baby powder.
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