Levy Konigsberg files motion in New Jersey state court to consolidate for trial 22 mesothelioma cases caused by asbestos in Johnson’s Baby Powder.
NEW YORK, April 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Levy Konigsberg, a leading national law firm representing victims of corporate misconduct, has filed a motion to consolidate for trial the cases of 22 people diagnosed with mesothelioma caused by asbestos in Johnson’s Baby Powder. The motion was filed in the Superior Court in Middlesex County, New Jersey, and seeks to have a jury evaluate the evidence of Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) egregious corporate wrongdoing.
This motion comes less than a week after U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Michael Kaplan ruled that talc lawsuits against publicly-traded Johnson & Johnson may move forward in state courts so long as the trials do not start for approximately 60 days. The ruling allows these 22 mesothelioma cases, and other filed against J&J, to proceed toward long-awaited jury trials.
On January 30, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that the bankruptcy J&J directed, filed by J&J’s shell company known as Legacy Talc Liabilities (LTL), was an abuse of the bankruptcy court system. However, on April 4, 2023, just two hours after the dismissal of the first bankruptcy, J&J (through its LTL subsidiary) filed for bankruptcy again. While the second bankruptcy has not yet been dismissed, Judge Kaplan has ruled that claimants who have had their claims and litigation stalled during the pendency of the prior bankruptcy should not lose more valuable time. J&J is one of the wealthiest companies in the world and recently increased its shareholder dividend by more than 5%.
Levy Konigsberg’s motion seeks to consolidate for trial against J&J the mesothelioma cases of 7 men and 15 women, 12 of whom are still living with mesothelioma, with the other 10 cases continuing through surviving family members. The victims and their families seek to hold J&J accountable for its reckless disregard for safety, which was previously presented to a New Jersey jury that, in February 2020, awarded $750 million against J&J for the company’s actions that resulted in the mesothelioma cancers of three men and one woman.
Levy Konigsberg Partner Moshe Maimon, who served as co-trial counsel in the prior $750 million verdict against J&J in New Jersey, said: “For more than 18 months, J&J has been wrongly allowed to seek shelter in a bankruptcy court, while enjoying the enormous wealth that allows it to pay more than $1 billion a month to its shareholders. Our clients who have suffered from mesothelioma and their families are ready to present their cases to a jury who will hear the evidence about asbestos in Johnson’s Baby Powder.”
Evidence presented in jury trials has shown that J&J knew of the presence of asbestos in the talc used in Johnson’s Baby Powder as early as the 1950s. Despite being presented with independent laboratory testing demonstrating asbestos in J&J’s talc, the company pushed back against anyone who questioned the safety of talc, even compiling a list of public health officials and researchers which J&J referred to as “antagonistic personalities”.
J&J’s attempt to use the bankruptcy system with a corporate maneuver known as the “Texas Two Step” has been widely criticized and the subject of U.S. Senate hearing.
Levy Konigsberg LLP has been representing victims of mesothelioma in civil lawsuits since 1985. The firm represents more than 100 women and men diagnosed with asbestos-related cancers as the result of exposure to Johnson’s Baby Powder.
SOURCE Levy Konigsberg