Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder is perhaps one of their most iconic products. Mothers have used it to help with diaper rash. Women have used it as a personal hygiene product, sprinkling it in their underwear and other areas to combat sweating. Now, thousands of women and their families are claiming that a lifetime of using the product has caused them to develop ovarian cancer. Lawyers for the victims say that the baby powder is contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen. The claims of contamination have instigated a government investigation conducted by the Justice Department into claims that the company was aware of the contamination.
Med Truth reports that Johnson & Johnson is attempting to get 12,000 of the baby powder lawsuits dismissed.
The lawsuits compromise the majority of the 14,000 cases pending against the company. 12,000 of the lawsuits have been consolidated down into one in what is known as multi-district litigation.
In an attempt to get the lawsuit dismissed, attorneys for Johnson & Johnson have invoked the Daubert test. The Daubert test is a five-point checklist that is used to assess the reliability of scientific or technical evidence.
The process will rely on criteria including whether a theory or technique has been tested. It will also assess whether research has been published under the scrutiny of peer review.
Testimony in the Daubert hearing went on for eight days. It was followed by a three-day pre-trial hearing in a New Jersey federal court before U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson.
Wolfson will decide whether evidence that talc is carcinogenic is reliable and relevant enough to be presented before juries. Wolfson has the authority to dismiss all of Ithe evidence as well as all 12,000 cases.
If Wolfson dismisses the cases, Johnson & Johnson will be relieved of 79% of all outstanding baby powder lawsuits. The decision can be appealed if Wolfson dismisses the cases.
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