Johnson & Johnson Loses Trial Over Claims Baby Powder Contains Asbestos

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has lost five prior trials—four in Missouri and one in California—to plaintiffs claiming the talc fibers contained in Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and Shower to Shower powder caused ovarian cancer. Although two of those verdicts have been reversed and are making their way through appellate courts, there remain thousands of cases claiming J & J is responsible for ovarian cancer among women who use baby powder for feminine hygiene purposes.

New Allegations Against Johnson & Johnson and Imerys

Now, Johnson & Johnson faces new allegations—that their beloved baby powder contains cancer-causing asbestos—and, in fact, a New Jersey jury found J & J and Imerys SA guilty of this claim just last week. This was the first case to be tried regarding cancer-causing asbestos in baby powder. After a trial lasting over two months, the jury ordered the two companies to pay $37 million in compensatory damages, with a decision regarding punitive damages to come later. The jury found the plaintiff suffered from mesothelioma as a result of asbestos in the J & J talc.

Does Asbestos Cause Cancer?

Asbestos has been found to cause a deadly form of cancer, known as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma affects the delicate tissues lining the lungs, the abdomen, and elsewhere in the body. The plaintiff in the case claimed he had used J & J Baby Powder and J & J Shower to Shower for more than three decades. He believes that inhaling the powder—which he claims has asbestos fibers—caused his mesothelioma. So, multiple juries in various parts of the country have found that talc causes ovarian cancer through feminine hygiene use and mesothelioma as a result of inhaling the asbestos in talc.

Talc is one of the earth’s softest minerals and is often located near deposits of asbestos-containing minerals, bringing a risk of cross-contamination. Johnson & Johnson has asserted their products contain no asbestos, and Imerys has stated their talc undergoes rigorous testing to ensure it meets the highest quality standards and contains no asbestos. Despite this, Imerys was assigned 30 percent of the liability, and J & J was assigned 70 percent of the liability in this case.

Next J & J Asbestos Case Goes to Court in May

Similar asbestos cases are making their way through the court systems, with the next case set to go to trial in South Carolina in a little more than a month. The plaintiff’s attorney claimed J & J has withheld information from its customers regarding the health risks of asbestos in its talc products since the 1960s. J & J argues they have tested their talc products extensively to ensure they contain no asbestos. Both J & J and Imerys say they will appeal the decisions, and that the plaintiff must have been exposed to asbestos somewhere else, like his childhood home, or schools he attended.

The Ongoing Ovarian Cancer Litigation

Johnson & Johnson is currently facing more than 7,500 lawsuits regarding talc fibers in their baby powder which have allegedly caused ovarian cancer for women who have used the powder for decades.

Despite the fact that talcum powder, when used for feminine hygiene, has been associated with ovarian cancer risks since the 1960’s, Johnson & Johnson continued to sell their powders containing talc and stubbornly refuses to warn its customers. Most other companies began using corn starch rather than talc in their baby powders, and although J & J does manufacture a powder containing corn starch, the company refused to take their talc-containing products off the market.

Contact our National Product Liability Attorneys

The lawyers at Golomb Legal proudly represent nearly 300 women who have suffered with ovarian cancer as a result of their use of talc. We also serve as leaders in both the state court and multi-district litigation.

If you or a loved one developed ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder with talc or Shower to Shower with talc, it is important for you to speak to an experienced product liability attorney at Golomb Legal to determine whether you have a valid claim against J & J, and to ensure your rights are protected. To learn more about your legal options or to schedule a free consultation call the Philadelphia class action lawyers at Golomb Legal today at 1-800-355-3300 or 1-215-985-9177 or fill out our confidential Contact Form.

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