On January 22, U.S. District Judge Todd W. Robinson of the Southern District of California favored Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Consumer Inc. and Bausch Health US LLC over a lawsuit that claimed the defendants for misleading representations in advertising and marketing of the talcum products.
The lawsuit was brought by two plaintiffs seeking damages on behalf of all purchasers of the talcum powder products in the state of California. The plaintiffs contended that the products contained contaminants like asbestos, lead, silica, and arsenic that can cause cellular inflammation and oxidative stress.
J&J and the co-defendant were alleged of engaging in deceptive advertising practices for its baby powder and other talc-based products as an effort to obtain consumers' trust and increase sales.
The defendants filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiffs failed to show that the alleged misrepresentations are in fact misleading and they have not satisfied Rule 9(b). Under Rule 9(b), the plaintiff must state with “particularity the circumstances constituting the fraud or mistake.”
According to the recent order, Judge Robinson stated that the plaintiffs failed to identify which particular advertisement they relied on and that they failed to show which specific statement they actually saw. Additionally, the judge said that the plaintiffs failed to show the products are unsafe and dismissed the case with prejudice.
Earlier this month, the Baby Powder giant argued over the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee's (PSC) motion to add a spoliation of evidence claim to the First Amended Master Long Form Complaint, stating that it's untimely for the plaintiffs to add the claim four years after the first Master Complaint was filed.
J&J is currently facing more than 20,000 Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower lawsuits and has been paying millions to resolve them.
Last year the company stopped selling its talcum-based products in the U.S. and Canada, stating a decline in consumer demand and misinformation about the safety of the products.