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$700M Settlement in Talc-Asbestos Case

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $700 million to resolve claims that asbestos-laced talcum powder causes cervical cancer.

The settlement resolves charges that Johnson & Johnson misled consumers into believing its talc products, which it sold for more than a century before stopping, were safe. J&J did not admit wrongdoing in settling with the states, which were led by Florida, North Carolina, and Texas, and has said its talc products are safe and do not cause cancer. The company announced a settlement in principle in January. "This is a major advancement for consumer product safety," Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said in a statement.

J&J still faces tens of thousands of talc lawsuits and a class action accusing the New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company of fraudulently hiding their dangers from shareholders.

Indirect Ambient Asbestos Poisoning Victims

Johnson & Johnson has already set aside more than $10 billion to settle what will likely be the first wave of talc-asbestos litigation matters. For decades, J&J aggressively marketed talcum powder, assuring women that “a sprinkle a day helps keep odor away.” All that aggressive marketing created a very loyal group of buyers which the company essentially betrayed.

This dynamic explains the high number of lawsuits, as mentioned above, along with the large amount of punitive damages that juries have awarded so far.

Anyone who regularly used talcum powder (as opposed to baking soda-based baby powder) and developed cervical cancer may be eligible to partner with a nationwide asbestos lawyer and file a legal claim. As for the betrayal element, evidence suggests that J&J knew about asbestos contamination and intentionally concealed this information.

Many people are surprised to learn that an industrial product, like asbestos, tainted a niche consumer product, like talcum powder. These two minerals are geologically and chemically similar in many ways. In fact, subterranean talc deposits and asbestos deposits are usually very close to each other or even interlaced with each other.

Poor quality control practices during extraction and manufacturing allowed deadly asbestos fibers into talc-containing products. In addition to talcum powder, these products include:

  • Face powder,
  • Mascara,
  • Lipstick,
  • Foundation,
  • Eyeshadow,
  • Blush, and
  • Children’s makeup.

Even if “talc” was not on the label, a nationwide asbestos exposure lawyer should still evaluate your situation if you used these products and developed a serious illness. Talc has many pseudonyms, such as magnesium silicate.

Somewhat similarly, natural and man-made disasters often spread asbestos fibers over large areas, where they infect unsuspecting people who have no connection to the asbestos industry.

9/11 is a good example. When the Twin Towers were constructed in the 1970s, builders added as much as 400 tons of asbestos to these structures. So, the World Trade Center collapse created a toxic cloud that blanketed much of New York City.

Congress recently extended the 9/11 victim compensation fund to 2090. Unless Congress pulls the plug, the 9/11 VCF fund should be effective long enough to compensate most 9/11-related mesothelioma and other asbestos poisoning victims.

Class Action/MDL Settlements

A few final words about the nature of class action and MDL (multidistrict litigation) settlements. Usually, victims do not split this settlement money evenly.

Generally, Tier One victims, who came forward early and did most of the legal work, get most of the settlement money. Bandwagon-jumping Tier Two victims get less money. Tier Three victims, who join at the last minute after a settlement is reached, get whatever’s left over.

So, if you used a talc product and developed cancer or another serious illness, we cannot overemphasize the need to reach out to a lawyer straight away.

Count on a Dedicated Asbestos Exposure Lawyer

Mesothelioma victims need and deserve significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced nationwide mesothelioma lawyer, contact the Throneberry Law Group. We have offices in Arizona and six other states from coast to coast.

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