This case was last updated from Santa Clara County Superior Courts on 08/14/2019 at 08:00:13 (UTC).

Mund v. Johnson & Johnson, et al. [Coordinated into JCCP4872 Los Angeles]

Case Summary

On 07/02/2018 Mund filed a Personal Injury - Other Product Liability lawsuit against Johnson Johnson, Coordinated into JCCP4872 Los Angeles. This case was filed in Santa Clara County Superior Courts, Downtown Superior Court located in Santa Clara, California. The Judge overseeing this case is Walsh, Brian C. The case status is Other - Stayed.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ******0933

  • Filing Date:

    07/02/2018

  • Case Status:

    Other - Stayed

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Product Liability

  • Court:

    Santa Clara County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Downtown Superior Court

  • County, State:

    Santa Clara, California

Judge Details

Judge

Walsh, Brian C

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

Mund, Camella

Defendants

Luzenac America, Inc.

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc.

Johnson & Johnson

Imerys Talc America, Inc.

Not Classified By Court

Superior Court of California

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

Griffin, Keith David

Not Classified By Court Attorney

Superior Court of CA, County of Santa Clara

 

Court Documents

Notice

Mund Notice of Court Order.pdf: Comment: Notice of Court Order Re Coordination of Add-On Cases

Notice

Mund Notice of Submission.pdf: Comment: Notice of Submission of Potential Add-On Cases for Coordination of This Case Into JCCP 4872

Order: Deeming Case Complex

Order Deeming Case Complex and Staying Action Pending Coordination Proceedings: Comment: Order Deeming Case Complex and Staying Action Pending Coordination Proceedings signed/BCW

Civil Case Cover Sheet

Mund, Camella - Civil Case Cover Sheet.pdf:

Complaint (Unlimited) (Fee Applies)

Complaint (Unlimited) (Fee Applies):

Summons: Issued/Filed

Summons Issued Filed:

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/19/2018
  • Conference: Case Management - Judicial Officer: Walsh, Brian C; Hearing Time: 10:00 AM; Cancel Reason: Vacated; Comment: (1st CMC) Discovery and responsive pleading deadline stayed, as of 7/19/18, when the case was deemed complex. Matter stayed, as of 7/19/18, pending coordination proceedings.

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  • 09/21/2018
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  • Notice - Mund Notice of Court Order.pdf: Comment: Notice of Court Order Re Coordination of Add-On Cases

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  • 08/08/2018
  • View Court Documents
  • Notice - Mund Notice of Submission.pdf: Comment: Notice of Submission of Potential Add-On Cases for Coordination of This Case Into JCCP 4872

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  • 07/19/2018
  • View Court Documents
  • Order: Deeming Case Complex - Order Deeming Case Complex and Staying Action Pending Coordination Proceedings: Comment: Order Deeming Case Complex and Staying Action Pending Coordination Proceedings signed/BCW

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  • 07/02/2018
  • View Court Documents
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet - Mund, Camella - Civil Case Cover Sheet.pdf:

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  • 07/02/2018
  • View Court Documents
  • Complaint (Unlimited) (Fee Applies) - Complaint (Unlimited) (Fee Applies):

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  • 07/02/2018
  • View Court Documents
  • Summons: Issued/Filed - Summons Issued Filed:

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Complaint Information

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corporation or association authorized to do business in California and registered with the California Secretary of State, or that has sufficient minimum contacts in California, is a citizen of California, or otherwise intentionally avails itself of the California market so as to render the

| exercise of jurisdiction over it by the California courts consistent with traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.

28. Further, DEFENDANTS have each purposefully availed themselves of the benefits and protections of the laws within the State of California. Col.lectively, DEFENDANTS conduct substantial business in California and have had sufficient contact with California such that the exercise of jurisdiction would be consistent with the traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.

29. Assuch, the DEFENDANTS purposefully availed themselves of the laws and ; protections of the State of California, targeted California consumers, such as PLAINTIFF, and gained substantial profits from the sales of the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS sold in the State of California, including those purchased by PLAINTIFF.

30. Venue is proper in this court pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure § 395(a) in that a substantial part of the events giving rise to this action occurred in Los Angeles County.

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

31. Talc is an inorganic mineral composed of hydrated magnesium silicate that is mined from the earth. Talc is the main substance in talcum powders.

32. Talcum powders are widely used in various cosmetic products, including the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS.

Numerous Studies Have Found that Talc- and Talcum Powder-Based Products Increase the Risk of Ovarian Cancer

33. The first study connecting the use of talc and talc-based products with ovarian cancer was conducted in 1971 by Dr. Henderson in Cardiff, Wales. This study showed an association between talc and ovarian cancer.

34. In 1982, an epidemiological study was conducted and published by Dr. Danielpage 5 can't be parsed

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SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS for use by women for feminine hygiene purposes

50. Further, upon information and belief, DEFENDANTS and their agents, employees and officers, promoted the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS to the general public as safe, despite their knowledge to the contrary.

Defendants Concealed the Risks of the Subject Talc-Based Products and Misrepresented the Safety of These Products

51. Despite DEFENDANTS’ longstanding knowledge of the increased risk of ovarian caflcer, DEFENDANTS, and each of them, failed to warn and disclose to consumers, including PLAINTIFF, that the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS significantly increase the risk of ovarian cancer.

52. DEFENDANTS knew of the dangerous effects associated with the use of the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS for feminine hygiene purposes from the published studies and other medical literature confirming these risks. However, DEFENDANTS took no action to properly study the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS, which would have reflected that risk. DEFENDANTS, and each of them, failed to adequately warn or remedy the risks, but instead concealed, suppressed and failed to disclose the dangers.

53. Further, DEFENDANTS, and each of them, knew of the harmful effects of the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS and/or talcum powder prior to PLAINTIFF's initial use of these products, yet DEFENDANTS purposefully failed to disclose these risks to the general public, including PLAINTIFF.

54. Moreover, each of the DEFENDANTS actively marketed and promoted talcum powder and/or the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS as safe and non-hazardous to women's health. These intentional marketing and promotional strategies included disseminating false and misleading information regafding the safety of SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS to the public and medical community.

55. In February 1998, a memo was written by Luzenac (now known as IMERYS TALC) regarding a visit to H. Anton Culver, the chief of epidemiole gy division at UC Irvine. The

memo stated that "Luzenac wants to stop the rumor about Ovarian cancer in order to free the development in cosmetic applications and avoid the initiation of a process for classification of talc as a carcinogen."

56. The February 1998 memo also discussed a plan to criticize and downplay the : studies associating talc with cancer.

‘ 57. Asearly as 1998, IMERYS TALC knew that talc was hazardous to human health and a potential carcinogen. Despite this knowledge, IMERYS TALC purposefully and knowingly criticized the scientific literature revealing this causal connection and downplayed the risks of talc. i 58. IMERYS TALC knew that its product, talc, was a component of the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS and that inclusion of talc in these products presented a danger to consumers, yet they consciously attempted to prevent consumers, including PLAINTIFF, from knowing this information.

59. This concealment was done in order to increase profits in the cosmetic application market, including but not limited to the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS which IMERYS TALC knew were being used by consumers for feminine hygiene purposes, including by PLAINTIFF.

60. Further, at all relevant times herein, JOHNSON & JOHNSON marketed and promoted the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS as products for freshness, cleanliness, and comfort. Further, the labeling on Johnson's Baby Powder specificafly states its intended use for

women: "For you, use anytime you want skin to feel soft, fresh, and comfortable."

Moreover, DEFENDANTS utilized slogans on the Shower to Shower products to target potential female purchasers, stating: "Just a sprinkle a day helps keep odor away."”

-61. Despite knowing the serious and hazardous risks that the SUBJECT TALC- BASED PRODUCTS caused to women who used these products for feminine hygiene purposes, DEFENDANTS, and each of them, promoted, advertised, and marketed the SUBJECT TALC- BASED PRODUCTS to the general public, including PLAINTIFF, as safe and efficacious for use

2 hitps://www.johnsonsbaby.com/powder/johnsons-baby-powder#how-amp-when-to-use

3 http://www.showertoshower.com/Home

DELAYED DISCOVERY AND FRAUDULENT CONCEALMENT

62. .The discovery rule applies to toll the running of the statute of limitations until PLAINTIFF knew, or through the exercise of reasonable care and diligence, should have known of the existence of her claims against all DEFENDANTS. The nature of PLAINTIFF's injuries and subsequent damages, and their causal relationshipSUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS were not and could not have been discovered through reasonable care and diligence.

63. PLAINTIFF was diagnosed with ovarian cancer on or about April 5, 2016. PLAINTIFF attempted to identify the cause of her cancer, as she underwent extensive treatments, including but not limited to surgery and chemotherapy. PLAINTIFF was unsuccessful in ascertaining a suspected source of her cancer until Within the applicable limitations period.

Indeed, none of PLAINTIFF's doctors or healthcare providers ever suspected or discussed the

possibility with PLAINTIFF her use of the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS was the cause of her ovarian cancer.

64. Further, PLAINTIFF did not believe or had any reason to believe that the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS—which were and are marketed and promoted by DEFENDANTS as safe and harmless for use—could have been the cause of the serious injuries PLAINTIFF suffered. PLAINTIFF continued to use the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS approximately through 2016.

65. PLAINTIFF did not suspect, nor did she have reason to suspect, the cause of the injuries caused by the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS, or the tortious nature of thé conduct causing those injuries, until less than the applicable limitations period prior to the filing of this action.

66. Despite investigation, PLAINTIFF did not learn that the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS were a cause of her injuries until 2017.

67. Further, DEFENDANTS are estopped from asserting a statute of limitations defense because all DEFENDANTS fraudulently concealed from and misrepresented to PLAINTIFF the connection between the injuries sustained by PLAINTIFF and the28

DEFENDANTS' tortious conduct. Additionally, DEFENDANTS, and each of them, continue to misrepresent to the general public that the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS are safe for use by women for feminine hygiene purposes. |

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION

(By PLAINTIFF Against JOHNSON & JOHNSON; JOHNSON & JOHNSON CONSUMER COMPANIES, INC.; IMERYS TALC AMERICA, INC. f/k/a LUZENAC AMERICA, INC;

and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive)

STRICT PRODUCTS LIABILITY- FAILURE TO WARN

68. PLAINTIFF re-alleges paragraphs 1 through 67, inclusive, and incorporates them herein by reference as though set forth in full. |

69. DEFENDANTS' products, the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS, were and are defective due to inadequate warnings regarding the increased risks of ovarian cancer associated with their use.

70. Each DEFENDANT was a critical entity and participant in the SUBJECT TALC- BASED PRODUCTS entering the stream of commerce.

71. J&J DEFENDANTS, IMERYS TALC, and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive, and each of them, knew or should have known at the time SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS left DEFENDANTS' possession, that these products contained inadequate warnings regarding the increased risks of ovarian cancer associated with their use.

72. J&J DEFENDANTS, IMERYS TALC, and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive, and each of them, had a duty to warn and provide adequate warnings and information to those whom they could expect to use the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS and/or be endangered by their probable use, including PLAINTIFF.

73. Atall times and places mentioned herein, J&J DEFENDANTS, IMERYS TALC, and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive, and each of them, failed to use reasonable care to warn, give adequate warnings or provide facts describing the dangerous propensities of the SUBJECT TALC- BASED PRODUCTS to the public and general population, including PLAINTIFF. o 3 N

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each of thefn, further failed to provide proper post-market and/or post-sale warnings or instructions because, after DEFENDANTS knew or should have known of the risks of dangerous side effects of the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS, they failed to provide adequate warnings to users or consumers of the product, including PLAINTIFF, and continued to promote and market the products as safe.

75. Asadirect and proximate result of DEFENDANTS' failure to provide adequate warnings and failure to use reasonable care to warn of the dangerous risks and effects of the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS, PLAINTIFF suffered serious and permanent injuries and damages, as described herein, including but not limited to physical injuries, pain and suffering, extreme mental and physical anguish, economic loss, and the need for continuing treatment, and will continue to suffer such damages i‘n the future.

76. In performing the foregoing acts and omissions, DEFENDANTS, and each of them, acted despicably, fraudulently, and with malice and oppression so as to justify an award of punitive and exemplary damages.

SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION

(By PLAINTIFF Against JOHNSON & JOHNSON; JOHNSON & JOHNSON CONSUMER COMPANIES, INC.; IMERYS TALC AMERICA, INC. f/k/a LUZENAC AMERICA, INC,; and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive) |

STRICT PRODUCTS LIABILITY- DESIGN DEFECT

77. 'PLAIN TIFF re-alleges paragraphs 1 through 67, inclusive, and incorporates them herein by reference as though set forth in full.

78. J&J DEFENDANTS, IMERYS TALC, and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive, and each of them, designed, manufactured, tested, marketed, distributed, and/or sold the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS into the stream of commerce.

79. Each DEFENDANT was a critical entity and participant in the SUBJECT TALC- BASED PRODUCTS entering the stream of commerce.,

80. The SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS were expected to and did reach

PLAINTIFF without substantial change in its condition as manufactured, created, designed, tested,page 12 can't be parsed

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them, acted despicably, frafidulently, and with malice and oppression so as to justify an award of

punitive and exemplary damages.

THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION

(By PLAINTIFF Against JOHNSON & JOHNSON; JOHNSON & JOHNSON CONSUMER | COMPANIES, INC.; and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive)

BREACH OF IMPLIED WARRANTY

89. PLAINTIFF re-alleges paragraphs 1 through 67, inclusi-ve,v and incorporates them herein by reference as though set forth in full.

90. Defendants JOHNSON & JOHNSON and J&J CONSUMER (collectively the "J&J DEFENDANTS") were each a critical entity and participant in the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS entering the stream of commerce.

91. The J&J DEFENDANTS were aware that consumers, including PLAINTIFF, would use the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS, and these defendants knew, or had reason to know, that consumers, including PLAINTIFF, would rely on the skill, judgment, and labeling of said defendants in providing the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS for their intended use.

92. PLAINTIFF did rely on the skill, judgment, knowledge, and representations of the J&J DEFENDANTS in her decisions to use the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS.

93. The SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS were not séfe for their intended use nor Wefe they of merchantable quality as warranted by the J&J DEFENDANTS in that these products were and are defectively designed and contained inadequate warnings, thereby dangerously and hazardously exposing consumers, including PLAINTIFF, to harm and serious injury.

94. As adirect and proximate result of each of said defendant's breach, PLAINTIFF suffered serious and permanent injuries and damages, as described herein, including but not limited to physical injuries, pain and suffering, extreme mental and physical anguish, economic loss, and the need for continuing treatment, and will continue to suffer such damages in the future.

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] FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION

2 || (By PLAINTIFF Against JOHNSON & JOHNSON; JOHNSON & JOHNSON CONSUMER 3 COMPANIES, INC.; and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive)

4 BREACH OF EXPRESS WARRANTY

5 95. PLAINTIFF re-alleges paragraphs 1 through 67, inclusive, and incorporates them

6 || herein by reference as though set forth in full.

7 96. The J&J DEFENDANTS were each a critical entity and participant in the

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SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS entering the stream of commerce.

9 97. At all times herein mentioned, said defendants, and each of them, represented to the 10 {| general public, including PLAINTIFF, that the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS were safe, 11 || efficacious, and proper for their intended use, and that they 1did not produce any dangerous or 12 || unwarned of side effects, including but not limited to ovarian cancer.

13 908. PLAINTIFF did rely on these express representations made by these defendants in 14 || her decision to utilize the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS.

15 99, The SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS were not effective, safe, or fit for their 16 || intended use as described, marketed, and warranted by the J&J DEFENDANTS.

17 100. As adirect and proximate result of each of said defendant's breach, PLAINTIFF

18 || suffered serious and permanent injuries and damages, as described herein, including but not

19 || limited to physical injuries, pain and suffering, extreme mental and physical anguish, economic

20 || loss, and the need for continuing treatment, and will continue to suffer such damages in the future.

21 ‘ FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION

22 (By PLAINTIFF Against JOHNSON & JOHNSON; JOHNSON & JOHNSON

23 CONSUMER COMPANIES, INC.; IMERYS TALC AMERICA, INC. f/k/a 24 LUZENAC AMERICA, INC.; and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive)

25 FRAUDULENT CONCEALMENT

26 101. PLAINTIFF re-alleges paragraphs 1 through 67, inclusive, and incorporates them

27 || herein by reference as though set forth in full. 28 102. The J&J DEFENDANTS, IMERYS TALC, and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive,page 15 can't be parsed

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SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS, each gave rise to an affirmative duty to meaningfully

disclose and provide all material information concerning the risk and dangers associated with said

products. 116. The J&J DEFENDANTS, IMERYS TALC, and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive, and each of them, knew or reasonably should have known, that PLAINTIFF would rely upon the

deceitful misrepresentations made by each of the DEFENDANTS regarding the safety and efficacy of the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS.

117. PLAINTIFF did rely upon the misrepresentations and/or omissions of truth made by J &J DEFENDANTS, IMERYS TALC, and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive.

- 118. As a direct and proximate result of each DEFENDANT's deceiving misrepresentations, PLAINTIFF suffered serious and permanent injuries and damages, as described herein, including but not limited to physical injuries, pain and suffering, extreme mental and physical anguish, economic loss, and the need for continuing treatment, and will continue to suffer such damages in the future.

119. The foregoing acts, conduct and omissions of DEFENDANTS, and each of them, were vile, base, willful, malicious, wanton, oppressive and fraudulent, and were done with a conscious disregard for the health and safety of PLAINTIFF and other users of the SUBJECT TALC-BASED PRODUCTS, and reckless ignorance of the truth of said products, for the primary purpose of increasing and sustaining profits. As such, PLAINTIFF is entitled to punitive damages. | |

SEVENTH CAUSE OF ACTION

(By PLAINTIFF Against JOHNSON & JOHNSON; JOHNSON & JOHNSON CONSUMER COMPANIES, INC.; IMERYS TALC AMERICA, INC. f/k/a LUZENAC AMERICA, INC.; and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive)

NEGLIGENT MISREPRESENTATION |

120. PLAINTIFF re-alleges paragraphs 1 through 67, inclusive, and incorporates them

herein by reference as though set forth in full.

121. The J&J DEFENDANTS, IMERYS TALC, and DOES 1 thrOUgh 100, inclusive,page 18 can't be parsed

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suffered serious and permanent injuries and damages, as described herein, including but not limited to physical injuries, pain and suffering, extreme mental and physical anguish, economic loss, and the need for continuing treatment, and will continue to suffer such damages i the future. 133. The foregoing acts, conduct, and omissions of each DEFENDANT were vile, willful, malicious, wanton, oppressive, and fraudulent, and were done with a conscious disregard for the health, safety and rights of PLAINTIFF, and other persons affected by the use of DEFENDANTS' product, and for the primary purpose of increasing DEFENDANTS' profits. In performing the foregoing acts and omissions, DEFENDANTS, and each of them, acted despicably, fraudulently, and with malice and oppression so as to justify an award of punitive and

exemplary damages.

RELIEF REQUESTED

| WHEREF ORE, PLAINTIFF praysfor jfidgmérfi agaihst‘DEFEN‘DAN TS, ahd éach of them, as follows: 1. Compensatory damages, including but not limited to pain, suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and other non-economic damages, in an amount to be determined at trial;

2. Past and future medical expenses, income, earning capacity, and other economic

damages in an amount to be determined at trial;

3. Punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial;

4. Pre- and post- judgment interest; |

5. Expenses and costs incurred in this action; and

6. For such other and further relief as this Court deems necessary, just and proper. DATED: June 20, 2018 GIRARDI | KEESE

KEITH D. GRIFFIN

MELISA ROSADINI

Attorneys for Plaintiff 4 5

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DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

PLAINTIFF hereby demands a trial by jury. DATED: June 20, 2018 GIRARDI | KEESE

By: T AS V. GIRARDI KEITH D. GRIFFIN

MELISA ROSADINI

Attorneys for Plaintiff