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Written by: OnderLaw, LLC
Last Updated : August 12, 2022

Talc Pulled from Store Shelves Around the World! Together, We Did This.

Posted on Friday, August 12th, 2022

an ovarian cancer survivor is hugged by her granddaughterWe’ve done it! Johnson & Johnson has announced that it will remove talc from all of their baby powders – not just in North America, but around the world!

Our OnderLaw team is proud to stand beside thousands of women and their families who have stood against the mega corporation to tell them that enough is enough, and hold them accountable for the damage they’ve done. What a day this is for all of us!

A Little Talc History

About a decade ago, St. Louis attorney James Onder heard the first stirrings about Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder being linked to ovarian cancer. Many people in his position would have ignored the rumblings (in fact, most attorneys did), but Onder was different. He listened carefully and did his own research. After all, he’d been the powerhouse behind lawsuits involving children killed by window blinds and had seen how dangerous products could devastate families and communities.

What Onder learned disturbed him. Talcum powder, the main ingredient in Johnson & Johnson powders, including the now-discontinued Shower to Shower, is naturally produced alongside asbestos, a known danger to humans.

Even on a molecular level, these two elements can look nearly identical. Asbestos, it stood to reason, was contaminating one of the biggest money-makers of one of the largest corporations on the planet, and it was putting millions of women in danger.

Onder saw a chance to make a difference.

Until this time, Onder had been steadily building his reputation, but at first, few other attorneys were willing to follow. Some still tell stories of Onder trying to convince them over dinner that tens of thousands of women and their families would come forward to stand up against J&J. After all, nothing quite like this had ever happened before. In addition, these types of litigations take time and money to fight, and a lot of attorneys didn’t want to invest their resources on the whims and passions of starry-eyed dreamer from a St. Louis wanting to change the way corporations do business.

Onder didn’t let the lack of support sway him. He filed what would be the second talc-related cancer case against Johnson & Johnson in the nation, and the first in the state of Missouri.

The rest, as they say, is history. Today, an estimated 40,000 women and their families have come forward, and they are still awaiting justice.

Decades of J&J Lies and Deceit

Johnson & Johnson has proved to be the formidable opponent Onder anticipated they would be. Discovery in these cases revealed that they knew for decades that their talc was dangerous. They did everything they could to hide it – and they kept the truth buried for a very long time.

When the public began to learn about the possible dangers, J&J internal records show that they shifted their marketing plan to attract overweight and minority women. They believed these women would not be as educated or health-savvy as middle and upper-class, fit white women.

The company has left no stone unturned in avoiding responsibility. A 2018 Reuters investigation revealed a shocking trail of lies and deception that shocked even the plaintiffs in these cases. Their duplicity has bordered on evil.

What’s Next for Talc Lawsuits?

Faced with hundreds of millions of dollars of losses in court, Johnson & Johnson, a $900 billion company, made the unprecedented move last year of forming a shell company, LTL Management, LLC (“LTL” stands for long-term liability), dumping all of its talc liability into LTL, then using a loophole in bankruptcy law called a Texas Two-Step to file bankruptcy for the subsidiary.

The company is not only attempting to limit the amount they currently owe tens of thousands of women and their families; they’re trying to put a cap on the amount they’ll owe in the future to women whose cancer is still lurking inside of them like a ticking time bomb.

It can take years for ovarian cancer, the primary cancer caused by talc, to be diagnosed. In fact, it often goes undetected until it is too late. In addition, there is often what’s called a latency period between exposure and when cancer develops; that latency period can last decades.

J&J knows they’re in trouble for many years to come. We believe they abused the bankruptcy system to take these cases out of public trials where they can be decided by juries and instead settle them behind closed doors of the bankruptcy court.

We have appealed the validity of the bankruptcy, however, and the circuit court judge has agreed to expedite the process. We will be pleading our case before the judge in September 2022 and hope to have a decision by the end of the year.

In the meantime, J&J’s bankruptcy proceedings continue to move forward. If they are allowed to continue, plaintiffs will still be compensated, but the amount each claimant will receive will be decided by the bankruptcy court and not juries of Americans whose lives J&J also carelessly endangered.

Global Removal of Talc

Our OnderLaw team knows that, for millions of Americans, these types of litigations are not just about lawsuits; they’re about lives. We don’t just care about cases. We care about causes.

Getting Johnson & Johnson talc off of store shelves has been a major part of our efforts. The only way corporations like this take safer actions is to hit them where it hurts: in their profit margins. That is what we have done.

In 2020, following a series of damning trials in which evidence became clear and public, J&J announced that it would take talc out of baby powder in North America. That wasn’t enough. We believe that safety should have no borders.

This week, J&J announced that it will stop all talc-based powder sales everywhere in 2023 and will replace talc with cornstarch, a much safer product. What a huge victory for the good guys (and gals)!

Though we are still awaiting justice for tens of thousands of women whose lives were derailed and destroyed by using a product believed to be safe, we are celebrating the wins that do come.

We tell our clients that, together, we are making a difference. Today, on behalf of women everywhere, we have made that difference.

Thank you for standing with us, and for continuing to put your faith in OnderLaw.

Despite the bankruptcy, it’s not too late. If you know a talc user who has suffered from ovarian cancer, please have them call us before their time to claim compensation has run out! Call our OnderLaw team at
314-963-9000.

 


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