A New York judge recently ordered pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson to stand trial in an asbestos cancer lawsuit brought by a plaintiff who claims he developed an aggressive form of cancer due to carcinogenic materials contained in products manufactured by the defendant. Johnson & Johnson had filed a motion for summary judgement, seeking to have the case thrown out of court and avoid any liability for knowingly manufacturing deadly products without warning consumers about the risks.
According to the asbestos cancer lawsuit, filed in the Supreme Court of New York County, the plaintiff developed pleural mesothelioma at the age of 76 after decades of using Baby Powder and other talc-based products developed and sold by Johnson & Johnson. The plaintiff claims she did not suffer from any industrial asbestos exposure at her work place and that the only possible source for the exposure came from the carcinogenic asbestos in the talcum powders she used.
Although talc, a naturally occurring mineral, does not contain asbestos fibers itself, the two are often found in deposits side by side one another, which can cause a risk of contamination if certain precautions are not taken. Asbestos itself has been heavily regulated since the 1970s when the federal government enacted legislation to protect the public from the known risks of asbestos exposure. However, even before regulators stepped in, many companies were fully aware of the risks their products posed and continued to manufacture dangerously designed and defective materials.