Posted in Breaking News on July 13, 2018
Johnson & Johnson has lost yet another trial addressing concerns that their baby powder products contain asbestos, leading to cases of ovarian cancers in regular users.
On July 12th, a St. Louis jury awarded $550 million in compensatory damages to the 22 plaintiffs and also ordered the company to pay $4.1 billion in punitive damages, for a total verdict of $4.69 billion in damages. This is the largest verdict yet in a series of cases linking Johnson & Johnson’s talc powder products to cancer.
While this isn’t the first case to suggest the cosmetic giant’s baby powder products are contaminated with asbestos, this is the first of its kind to address the links between asbestos exposure and ovarian cancer. Previous trials have focused on talc itself causing ovarian cancer, or the asbestos in talc causing mesothelioma, an aggressive form of lung cancer.
Although asbestos is rarely found in talc-based powder products, trace amounts can be found due to the source of the talc. Both talc and a form of asbestos called tremolite are composed of magnesium silicate and can often be found together in talc mines. When talc is processed, trace amounts of asbestos can contaminate the talc.
Typically, the FDA requires all talc powder products to be tested for asbestos. However, because Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder is categorized as cosmetic products and not drugs, they are not obligated to do so.
While Johnson & Johnson claimed they independently test their products for asbestos contamination, the plaintiffs in this trial argued that the company manipulated their testing for decades, deleting findings and otherwise fabricating results to ensure their products meet acceptable asbestos levels.
The company currently faces approximately 9,000 more talc-cancer cases in both state and federal court. This landmark verdict is a favorable precedent for all plaintiffs alleging cancer due to regular, frequent talc powder use.
If you’ve been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma and have regularly used Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder products, please contact the attorneys at Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP. We have the experience, compassion, and dedication necessary to explore your legal options. We are not intimidated by large corporations and will not hesitate to take a company to trial if it means maximum compensations for our clients. Contact us for a free consultation today to speak with one of our lead attorneys.