Johnson & Johnson is Suing Four Doctors Because of Their Research on Talc and Asbestos

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Johnson & Johnson is Suing Four Doctors Because of Their Research on Talc and Asbestos

Johnson & Johnson is suing four doctors that linked talc-based baby powder to cancer. The company states that the studies are inaccurate. LTL Management, which was created by Johnson & Johnson to handle all its talc liability, filed a lawsuit in New Jersey asking the state to force three researchers to retract or issue a correction to a study showing that talc products contaminated with asbestos can sometimes cause mesothelioma. Johnson & Johnson must face more than 38,000 lawsuits claiming that its talc-based products like its baby powder contained asbestos and lead to cancers like mesothelioma and ovarian cancer.

People are claiming that exposure to asbestos in talc-based products caused ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. Johnson & Johnson is trying to resolve all lawsuits with an $8.9 billion bankruptcy in court. Johnson & Johnson continues to claim that its talc products are safe and do not contain asbestos. The company no longer sells talc-based baby powder. Instead, it sells cornstarch-based varieties, citing the lawsuits and “misinformation” about its talc-based products.

The lawsuits Johnson & Johnson was facing had mixed results at trial. There were some defense wins but there were also losses like a $2.1 billion verdict awarded to 22 women who blame their ovarian cancer on asbestos contaminated talc products. The costs of the lawsuits including verdicts, settlements, and legal fees has reached $4.5 billion.

LTL has now filed multiple lawsuits against doctors. One doctor published an article in 2019 on 33 patients who said their exposure to asbestos only came from talc products. The same researchers did another study of 75 patients. Part of LTL’s complaint is that all doctors being sued have provided expert testimony against Johnson & Johnson and research has been used against the company in lawsuits they have not testified in. LTL also claims that researchers concealed that some patients had other exposures to asbestos not from talc products.

Claiming disparagement and fraud, Johnson & Johnson is asking the court to force the researchers to reveal their patients’ identities. One legal expert revealed that it is rare for a company to file a lawsuit due to research it disagrees with. To be successful, LTL must prove that researchers intentionally harmed Johnson & Johnson’s reputation. The company may not be filing the lawsuits to win, instead the company could be using them as a way to discourage other researchers or to reclaim the narrative about the safety of talc.

LTL lawsuits are alleging that the doctors’ research allowed them to collect millions of dollars to create a false narrative about Johnson & Johnson. LTL did something similar in December of 2022, but it was linked to the first bankruptcy filing, which was dismissed.

Were you exposed to asbestos and now have mesothelioma or lung cancer? Contact us today to see if you could be entitled to compensation. Call 412-471-3980 or fill out our contact form and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Dietrich Knauth, “Johnson & Johnson sues researchers who linked talc to cancer” Reuters (July 13, 2023). [Link]

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