Johnson & Johnson (J&J), in a quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, disclosed that it is facing a joint investigation by at least 41 states, examining how the company marketed its Baby Powder and other talcum powder products.
The probe involving 41 states is the latest legal dispute J&J would be facing, as its products are already subject to thousands of lawsuits pending in the courts nationwide, each claiming that the manufacturer knew for decades that their products contained asbestos and increased the risk of cancer, yet failed to warn consumers.
Meanwhile, last week, the U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson, presiding over coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings, issued an opinion, rejecting the efforts made by J&J to exclude plaintiffs’ expert witness testimony, allowing the talcum lawsuits to proceed further.
In the past, J&J suffered a series of massive losses, at trial in state courts, after failing to exclude plaintiffs expert witnesses under the federal Daubert standard. The company is expected to face substantial pressure over negotiation on talcum powder lawsuits settlements or could face years of trials throughout the federal court system.