Over 6,000 lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson nationwide, accusing the drug-maker of ignoring decades of evidence linking talcum powder and cancer to protect their profits.
The lawsuits were thrown into jeopardy after the U.S. Supreme Court determined that drug-makers could not be sued by out-of-state residents if the company did not have a “substantial link” to the state.
In May 2017, Los Slemp was awarded $110 million by a state jury in Missouri, even though she does not live in Missouri.
Johnson & Johnson is not headquartered in Missouri — but on November 29, Judge Rex Burlison issued an opinion that Slemp’s case should not be tossed out. According to Judge Burlison’s ruling:
[J&J] enlisting a Missouri company, PTI Union LLC, to manufacture, mislabel, and package Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower, the very products which caused injury to the Plaintiffs.”
Judge Burlison also noted that the talcum powder products were manufactured in Union, Missouri, and at another plant in Royston, Georgia, which was also under the control of the Missouri company.
The ruling suggests that Johnson & Johnson may have trouble escaping lawsuits from women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using Baby Powder or Shower-to-Shower.
Juries in St. Louis, Missouri have also awarded verdicts of $70 million in November 2016, $55 million in May 2016, and $72 million in February 2016.