J&J Takes Hits on Talc Lawsuit, Settles Xarelto Suit, Faces Pricing Criticism

Johnson & Johnson has lost several major lawsuits over allegations that asbestos in its talcum powder contributes to ovarian cancer. For example, in a 2018 lawsuit, a St. Louis jury awarded almost $4.7 billion in total damages to 22 women and their families.

As a strategy, the company has tried to get 2,400 of its state-court cancer lawsuits transferred to a federal court in Delaware. This would allow it to develop a single defense strategy. However, U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika in Wilmington, Del. dismissed the request yesterday, “noting that the world’s largest maker of health care products is partly responsible for the boomlet of litigation over its transfer strategy that it now characterizes as a crisis,” reports Bloomberg.

J&J hoped that by invoking the legal rights of its talc supplier, Imerys Talc America, now bankrupt, it would create quicker trials and claims resolutions. But Noreika stated in her decision, “J&J cannot establish an emergency. J&J’s desire to centralize its own state-law litigation does not justify the finding of an emergency.”

Bayer, J&J settle U.S. Xarelto litigation for $775 million

Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson have agreed to settle more than 25,000 U.S. lawsuits over their blockbuster blood thinner Xarelto for a total of $775 million, court documents on Monday showed.

The amount will be shared equally between the two companies that jointly developed the drug. Bayer and J&J do not admit liability under the agreement.

The settlement will resolve all pending U.S. lawsuits over Xarelto, which plaintiffs claimed causes uncontrollable and irreversible bleeding leading to severe injuries and even death among thousands of plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs accused the drugmakers of having failed to warn about the bleeding risks, claiming their injuries could have been prevented had doctors and patients been provided adequate information.

Johnson & Johnson and Bayer to pay $775M to settle Xarelto suits

Johnson & Johnson and Bayer agreed Monday to pay $775 million to settle almost 25,000 lawsuits in connection to blood thinner Xarelto.

Each company will pay 50 percent of the settlement, according to The New York Times. The payment ends both state and federal cases — the New Brunswick, New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson jointly markets Xarelto with Bayer, which is based in Germany.

Patients sued both companies, which failed to issue warnings regarding possible fatal bleeding episodes connected to taking Xarelto. Neither company accepted liability and actually won all six lawsuits that went to trial.

“Even in the face of meritless allegations, and even while winning in court, complex litigation demands an enormous amount of time and resources,” the pharmaceutical division of Johnson & Johnson explained in a statement regarding the settlement.

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