There was no home court advantage for New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson (J&J). As reported by CNN, J&J and their mineral supplier Imerys Talc were ordered by a Middlesex County judge to pay $30 million in compensatory damages to a banker who claimed their talcum powder, which his lawyers argued was contaminated with asbestos, caused his mesothelioma. His wife was awarded an additional $7 million. A second stage of the trial will determine punitive damages. J&J was judged to be 70 percent liable and their supplier Imerys Talc is shouldering 30 percent of the judgment.
Steven Lanzo’s lawyers successfully argued that J&J suppressed information on the risk of asbestos contamination in their products starting in the 1960s. Talcum powder is a magnesium trisilicate mineral. It is one of the softest minerals on earth and is often located near deposits of asbestos. In the 1970s, concerns were raised about the risk of cross contamination. In 1973, it was written into law that all talcum powders must be asbestos-free.
J&J argued that they conducted extensive tests for asbestos in their talcum products but the case was still decided in favor Lanzos, who used their Shower to Shower and baby powder products for over 30 years. The Lanzos case was J&J’s first defeat in an asbestos contamination lawsuit, but a number of high profile cases have successfully linked talc to ovarian cancer. In these cases, asbestos is viewed as an independent risk factor, but the talc itself has been scientifically linked to cancer.
It is a big deal that this victory was scored in J&J’s backyard; their headquarters is in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Last October, an appeals court tossed out a $72 million award to a woman who traced her ovarian cancer to talcum powder. Jacqueline Fox, 62, of Birmingham, Alabama, was one of 65 plaintiffs in a 2015 suit against the pharmaceutical giant. Fox died just four months after the trial and did not live to see a Missouri appeals court toss out the decision.
The dismissal was the result of a jurisdictional issue
It was not a repudiation of the science, which has been established for decades. Only two of the plaintiffs lived in Missouri and the product was not manufactured in Missouri. Previously, this was permitted under a state rule that allowed multiple ovarian cancer talc claims to be combined, provided at least one of the plaintiffs was a St. Louis resident.
The U.S. Supreme Court undermined this streamlining strategy and left many of the other awards against J&J and other pharmaceutical giants in jeopardy. It was the Supreme Court’s decision in the case Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, San Francisco County, et. al., that severely curtailed the jurisdiction of lower courts.
There is no doubt the Supreme Court decision and the Missouri reversal was great news for companies that are defending themselves from consumers. The reversal of the J&J talcum powder award is potentially the first of many. They are facing more than 1,000 claims in St. Louis alone and 5,500 nationwide. Individual citizens may not have the wherewithal to combat industrial titans, and the ability to combine lawsuits and pool resources has cost companies like J&J millions of dollars. One can hope that a victory scored in J&J’s home state is more likely to hold up to appeal.
It is not entirely surprising that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the major moneyed interests of big phama and against plaintiffs injured by their products. A quick perusal of the cases vilified as “litigation tourism” reveals that the defendant is often a drug manufacturer and their product has killed or crippled dozens of plaintiffs.
Clearly, what should matter most in these cases is the science. In 2008, I warned women to cease using talcum powder. More than 20 studies have linked the use of talcum powder around the genital area to ovarian cancer in women. To make matters worse, J&J was aware of the danger for at least 40 years and has a long history of corporate malfeasance. Their No More Tears baby shampoo contained two potentially cancer-causing chemicals. After several years of pressure from consumer advocates, J&J finally removed these dangerous ingredients from its baby shampoo in 2014.
The average American woman uses 12 personal care products and/or cosmetics a day, containing 168 different chemicals, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG). While most men use fewer products, they’re still exposed to about 85 such chemicals daily, while teens, who use an average of 17 personal care products a day, are exposed to even more. Clearly, such chemical exposures are not insignificant, especially when they occur virtually daily for a lifetime.
When it comes to talcum powder, my recommendation is to avoid it altogether. Also remember that adult women are not the ones most commonly exposed to talc. Most parents generously apply baby talcum powder to their baby’s bottom at each diaper change. A safe substitute that can absorb moisture is cornstarch.
11 pounds in 22 days?
Is it REALLY possible to lose 11 lbs. of fat in 22 days? Actually yes… BUT only when you’re a level 4 fat burner. Unfortunately, most people are stuck as level 1 fat burners. So, how do you become a level 4 fat burner to lose up to 11 lbs. in 22 days? Simply eat these foods daily:
Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?
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Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?
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To your health!
PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
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Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...
And today, this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE!
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Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.