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Los Angeles Times: "Johnson & Johnson's baby powder risk expands: It faces triple the cancer trials in 2019"


Los Angeles Times: "Johnson & Johnson's baby powder risk expands: It faces triple the cancer trials in 2019"

2019 is not looking bright for Johnson & Johnson.

2018 ended with bombshell news reports from Reuters News and the New York Times, chronicling evidence of J&J’s decades’-old concern about asbestos in baby powder which it hid from the public. The evidence was presented in numerous lawsuits J&J defended across the country in which it was asserted that asbestos in J&J products caused mesothelioma and ovarian cancer. The news sparked investor concern leading to J&J’s biggest drop in market value in a decade.

In 2019, J&J will be defending lawsuits filed by thousands of plaintiffs accusing the healthcare products giant of “hiding the cancer risk to protect a brand that has been a staple in American homes for more than a century.” It is estimated that in 2019 J&J will defend nearly triple the baby powder cases it defended in 2018.

J&J spokesman, Ernie Knewitz, stated that the company “will continue to vigorously defend the safety of Johnson’s baby powder in the courtroom.” However, as the number of cases increases, the cost to defend these lawsuits will be astronomical. Litigation analysts are anticipating the possibility of J&J implementing an organized settlement program in the future.

In fact, shortly after Mr. Knewitz’s vow to continue J&J’s strategy of defending victim’s cases at all costs, news broke that J&J agreed to its first-ever settlement in an asbestos/mesothelioma case. J&J has declined to comment on this settlement.

It appears that in 2018, a combination of public revelations, investor and public distrust, market devaluation, potential congressional investigation, and mounting litigation costs have finally pierced J&J’s armor. We remain optimistic that in 2019, J&J will continue its shift away steadfast denial to acceptance of responsibility for those it has harmed.