Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary LTL Management has filed lawsuits against four doctors who have published studies suggesting links between J&J’s talc-based care products, including Baby Powder, and cancer. The company insists these studies are inaccurate and demands a retraction or correction. J & J strongly deny allegations that their products, subject to over 38,000 lawsuits, are tainted with asbestos and cause cancer. They strive to tackle these lawsuits via an $8.9 billion settlement in bankruptcy court while facing accusations of product disparagement and fraud tied to safety misrepresentations.
In addition to disputes on research accuracy, LTL Management charges the doctors with concealing patients’ asbestos exposure from other sources, fraud, and product disparagement. The company has requested court intervention to reveal the patients involved in the studies. As the lawsuits suggest the involved doctors made significant earnings from the plaintiff’s lawyers, law professor Adam Zimmerman points out the challenges LTL might face in proving the researchers deliberately damaged J&J’s reputation. One researcher, Moline, asserts that the lawsuits could hinder future medical research and insists on maintaining her research subjects’ confidentiality. An immediate response from the researchers, whom LTL has previously sued, is yet to be received.
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[Source: Reuters, July 13th, 2023]