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The American Cancer Society declares on its website that talcum powder-based products have been asbestos-free since the 1970s. Johnson & Johnson, one of the major manufacturers of such products, is equally vocal about claiming that its well-known talc-based baby powder does not, and never has, contained asbestos. Juries hearing claims to the contrary continue to cast doubt the industry position.

The latest reflection of this came in mid-July with a panel in Missouri ordering Johnson & Johnson to pay nearly $4.7 billion in compensatory and punitive damages to a group of 22 women. The women alleged that baby powder and other J&J talc-based products did contain asbestos and caused them to contract ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson vows to appeal the case. Meanwhile, the company is named in thousands of additional actions claiming talc-related cancer and they continue to work their way through the courts.

Many can and do propose the argument that there is no solid scientific evidence that there is any link between talc and ovarian cancer. But the fact remains that, in its natural state, asbestos appears in talc. And asbestos is known to cause cancer.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued new guidance rules for asbestos as part of the latest updates to the reformed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which could potentially have a large impact on future asbestos production in the United States. The new rules, referred to as significant new use rule (SNUR), would allow the agency to prevent new uses of asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral directly linked to deadly cancers such as mesothelioma.

If adopted, the proposed rule would require the EPA’s approval before any products containing asbestos could be manufactured, imported, or processed in the U.S. and would further grant the agency the authority to prohibit or limit the use of asbestos. While the proposed SNUR is encouraging for many activists, it still remains the first instance the EPA has proposed such an action and those same groups remain skeptical that the agency will follow through with the proposal.

“These actions provide the American people with transparency and an opportunity to comment on how EPA plans to evaluate the ten chemicals undergoing risk evaluation, select studies, and use the best available science to ensure chemicals in the marketplace are safe,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “At the same time, we are moving forward to take important, unprecedented action on asbestos.”

Announcing the selection of Michael Throneberry among America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators® for 2018. Selection to America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators® is by invitation only and is reserved to identify the nation’s most exceptional trial attorneys in high value, high stakes legal matters.

To be considered for selection, an attorney must have litigated (for either plaintiff or defendant) a matter (1) with at least $2,000,000 in alleged damages at stake or (2) with the fate of a business worth at least $2,000,000 at stake. These minimum qualifications are required for initial consideration. Thereafter, candidates are carefully screened through comprehensive Qualitative Comparative Analysis based on a broad array of criteria, including the candidate’s professional experience, litigation experience, significant case results, representative high stakes matters, peer reputation, and community impact in order to rank the candidates throughout the state.

Only the top 100 qualifying attorneys in each state will receive this honor and be selected for membership among America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®. With these extremely high standards for selection to America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®, less than one-half percent (0.5%) of active attorneys in the United States will receive this honor — truly the most exclusive and elite level of attorneys in the community.

A New Jersey judge recently upheld a substantial $117 million verdict in favor of two-plaintiffs in an asbestos talcum powder lawsuit against cosmetics and pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier Imerys Talc. The award, originally handed down in April 2018, included $30 million in compensatory damages, $7 million for loss of consortium, and $80 million for a husband and wife.

The Middlesex County Superior Court judge in New Brunswick, New Jersey refused to grant Johnson & Johnson’s petition to set aside the verdict, potentially setting up another appeal to a higher state court. The jury’s award found Johnson & Johnson 70% liable for the plaintiffs’ damages and determined Imerys to be responsible for the remaining 30%. That verdict was the second such in two months for the two defendants, with a subsequent verdict in May 2018 awarding a 68-year-old plaintiff over $25 million in damages.

The asbestos talcum powder lawsuit alleged that the husband in the case developed mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer, from years of using talc-based products sold by Johnson & Johnson with materials sourced by Imerys Talc. The plaintiff claimed that he used the product from 1973 until roughly 2003 without knowing it contained deadly asbestos fibers, information he claimed Johnson & Johnson knew but kept from the public.

Mesothelioma is a very rare, very aggressive form of cancer. While it affects only a few thousand people each year, its effects are often devastating. Chances of survivability are very low, the signs and symptoms are difficult to spot, and usually take decades to manifest.

Possibly the most distressing aspect of mesothelioma is that it is often incurable. Treatments are available, but due to the disease’s rarity, modern medicine has had few chances to study it on an in-depth level. If these symptoms and circumstances are familiar to you, schedule an appointment with your doctor.

Causes and signs of mesothelioma

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