Attorneys representing plaintiffs in thousands of talcum powder asbestos cancer lawsuits recently asked a federal judge to allow additional supplementation in evidentiary proceedings following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) testing of talcum powder products. The judge’s ruling in these key evidentiary proceedings are expected to have a tremendous impact on how the thousands of cases in federal court against pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson will play out over the coming months and years.
In October 2019, the FDA announced that samples taken from certain lots of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder tested positive for trace amounts of deadly asbestos fibers, prompting the company to issue a voluntary recall of an estimated 33,000 bottles of its iconic product. In the wake of those positive asbestos tests, the plaintiffs’ lawyers have filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the FDA to obtain documents related to the lab tests, and asked Johnson & Johnson to provide discovery regarding the same materials.
Attorneys for the asbestos cancer victims have asked the New Jersey federal judge presiding over the key evidentiary hearings to allow the plaintiffs to include the additional information gathered in their legal briefs for the proceeding. Those proceedings, known as Daubert hearings, will decide which of the 39 expert witnesses named by both sides will be allowed to be presented to potential juries in the estimated 12,400 cases on the docket in federal courts across the country.
Thus far, juries in state courts across the country have handed down over $5 billion in combined compensation to dozens of plaintiffs who claim they developed various forms of cancer, including mesothelioma, from years of using talc-based products produced by Johnson & Johnson. Many of those lawsuits claimed the victims developed mesothelioma from the presence of asbestos fibers in Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, made by Johnson & Johnson with talc sourced by Imerys Talc USA.
Asbestos was once commonly used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications for the mineral’s heat-resistant properties, and despite knowing for decades about the health risks posed to innocent people, companies continued to use asbestos until federal regulations severely limited its use. Despite being regulated to the point of being unusable, thousands of people continue to receive an asbestos cancer diagnosis each year.
Both talc and asbestos are naturally occurring minerals and can be found side by side. If talc sourcing companies do not take reasonable precautions, talc may be contaminated with deadly asbestos fibers, putting innocent consumers at risk for a life-changing mesothelioma cancer diagnosis.
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If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.