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On its website, Johnson & Johnson proudly displays the company’s slogan, “A Family Company at Work for a Better World.” The company goes on to list a healthier world as one of the core values in its vision statement. Despite these inspiring statements, Johnson & Johnson has been the subject of countless lawsuits nationwide. Thousands of individuals have accused the company of concealing the adverse health effects potentially linked to its talcum powder products. The massive company generates billions of dollars in revenue annually, but many allege these profits jeopardized the well-being of thousands of consumers.
Our law firm is currently handling lawsuits on behalf of individuals who were injured as a result of prolonged use of talcum powder (talc), the active ingredient in Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower personal hygiene powders. Research indicates that exposure to talc products is associated with ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. Although pursuing a lawsuit against large companies like Johnson & Johnson may prove difficult, one of our talcum powder lawyers can guide you through the process.
Talc is a naturally occurring mineral mined from the earth. Manufacturers crush and mill talc into a soft white powder called Talcum Powder which companies use to make various cosmetic and personal care products. Many baby powders and adult powders contain talc since it absorbs moisture and reduces friction. In makeup, talc prevents caking and makes concealers opaque. Also, Talcum Powder works as a lubricant and products soft textures. Certain body powders, blush, eye shadow, foundation, and face powder contain talc.
Industrial products like paint, ceramics, paper, and rubber all contain talc.
Asbestos, like talc, is a naturally occurring mineral. Talc and asbestos may be mined near one another. Various agencies worldwide classify asbestos as a known carcinogen, a substance capable of causing cancer. Companies must select their mining sites carefully since asbestos can contaminate talc.
Unfortunately, no law requires cosmetic companies to share safety information with the FDA. The FDA cannot guarantee that talcum powder products are asbestos-free.
Due to growing concerns over talc, the FDA awarded AMA Analytical Services Inc. a one-year contract to test talc-based products for asbestos in 2018. Following this contract, AMA identified asbestos in cosmetic products by Claire’s Stores Inc. and Beauty Plus Global, and the companies voluntarily recalled these products. The FDA warned consumers not to use the affected cosmetics.
In October 2019, one lot of Johnson & Johnson baby powder tested positive for asbestos. Following this discovery, Johnson & Johnson subsequently recalled 33,000 bottles of its Baby Powder. Also, the FDA advised the public not to use this specific lot. In May 2020, Johnson & Johnson stopped selling their talcum powder-based baby powder products in the United States and Canada markets. But, Johnson & Johnson shareholders voted to continue selling their talcum powder-based products worldwide in April 2022.
In August 2022, Johnson & Johnson announced that it will stop all global sales of its talc-based products in 2023. The company stated that it will transition to solely cornstarch-based baby powder products in lieu of talcum powder. Again, the company asserted that this development does not reflect any change in its original stance toward the safety of its talcum powder products.
The majority of lawsuits allege that the use of talc products contributed to the development of ovarian cancer. Sadly, each year, more than 22,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. According to studies, women who use talc powder once per week have a 30-60 percent higher chance of developing ovarian cancer. In several cases, plaintiffs in ovarian cancer lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson have received significant awards. In a groundbreaking case in July 2018, 22 women were awarded $4.7 billion in compensatory and punitive damages after a St. Louis jury determined that Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Shower to Shower powder contained asbestos and caused ovarian cancer.
There have also been several plaintiff verdicts in talc-based mesothelioma cases. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that surrounds the lining of the lungs and other organs. Typically, mesothelioma is diagnosed in men who had exposure to asbestos in the workplace. While the outcome depends on the type of mesothelioma and the stage, it is a very aggressive form of cancer. Nearly 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma annually in the United States, and 2,500 mesothelioma deaths occur each year. Studies have shown that talc companies manufactured products that tested positive for asbestos. However, Johnson & Johnson concealed data that revealed asbestos contamination in talc. In reports to the FDA, the company denied that asbestos was present in talc products
People who regularly use products containing talcum powder report serious and life-threatening injuries such as mesothelioma and ovarian cancer. Many women incorporate baby powder into their feminine hygiene routine, but studies that date back to 1971 link talcum powder to ovarian cancer. Over 14,000 women die from ovarian cancer each year in the United States as it is one of the most deadly gynecologic cancers. The outcome for mesothelioma patients is no better. According to Penn Medicine, the current five-year survival rate for mesothelioma is 10%.
As of December 2021, there were over 37,000 lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson resulting from injuries related to its contaminated talc-based products. Plaintiffs in these lawsuits allege that exposure to talc caused them to develop ovarian cancer or mesothelioma. Asbestos and talc naturally occur together; therefore, asbestos can contaminate mined talc. The World Health Organization and other authorities have cautioned there is no safe level of asbestos exposure.
In October 2021, with lawsuits increasing, Johnson & Johnson engaged in what is known as the “Texas Two-Step” legal maneuver. The company created a subsidiary business, known as LTL Management, in Texas and transferred all talcum powder liability to this new business. Afterward, LTL Management filed for bankruptcy which paused all talcum powder lawsuits. Johnson & Johnson also provided the subsidiary with $2 billion to settle all future talcum powder litigation. However, attorneys argue this $2 billion trust is insufficient to settle the tens of thousands of remaining lawsuits considering the company has already paid $3.5 billion in verdicts and settlements in previous talcum powder cases.
As of September 2022, we are still unsure if Johnson & Johnson’s bankruptcy ploy will prove successful. Recently, a court of appeals heard arguments to overturn Johnson & Johnson’s bankruptcy maneuver, but there is no decision at this time.
Decades of research indicate a strong risk between the development of ovarian cancer or mesothelioma and talcum powder use. Lawsuits allege that Johnson & Johnson was aware or should have known about the dire hazards of its talcum powder products. The company failed to adequately warn consumers and therefore, may have caused many injuries and deaths over the years.
If you or a loved one has been injured by Talcum Powder, you may recover compensation for any or all of the following:
Below is a summary of what we know about Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products and the company’s liability for their containing asbestos:
The Lake Law Firm was founded by Edward J. Lake, Esq., a personal injury lawyer for over 25 years. Our dedicated team of attorneys is committed to seeking justice on behalf of those who have suffered injury or death due to the negligence of others. Our experienced attorneys handle many different types of pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and other defective products. The lawyers in our firm have helped collect millions of dollars for their clients. The Lake Law Firm will advocate for you and your rights. Please contact us for a free confidential case evaluation at (888) 274-0139 or submit an inquiry on this page.