The news continues to get worse for pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson this month after an analysis by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that one lot of Baby Powder produced in 2018 was contaminated with asbestos fibers, prompting a recall of 33,000 bottles of the product. The analysis that discovered the asbestos in Baby Powder was conducted on behalf of the FDA by an independent laboratory run by a scientist who Johnson & Johnson has hired as an expert witness in talcum powder cancer lawsuits against the company.
That paid witness is none other than Andreas Saldivar, laboratory director of AMA Analytical Services Inc, who has served as a litigation expert on several occasions for Johnson & Johnson since 2017 in cases brought by plaintiffs who claimed they developed various forms of cancer after years of using the company’s talc-based products. In May 2018, Saldivar testified in a deposition on behalf of Johnson & Johnson and stated that testing he performed on behalf of the FDA back in 2010 showed no evidence that Baby Powder contained asbestos fibers.
In 2019, Saldivar’s lab again began testing talcum powder on behalf of the FDA and in September it tested Baby Powder samples sent to it by federal safety regulators. The testing now presents a serious challenge to Johnson & Johnson of how to discredit a single positive test for asbestos while still maintaining the integrity of one of its expert witnesses. It remains unclear how this news will affect Johnson & Johnson’s litigation efforts moving forward, including whether the company will be more likely to settle the thousands of cases pending in state and federal courts.
Johnson & Johnson currently faces an estimated 14,000 talcum powder cancer lawsuits across the country, many of which allege the plaintiffs developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos in the company’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. To date, juries have handed down over $5 billion in combined compensation to dozens of plaintiffs for their injuries and medical conditions as a result of using Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products.
Asbestos was once used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications, mostly due to its heat resistant properties and ability to be shaped to fit a variety of products. Although federal laws have effectively banned the use of asbestos in most applications, thousands of people every year continue to receive a mesothelioma cancer diagnosis. While nothing can undo such devastating medical news, the law does give mesothelioma cancer victims the right to hold negligent asbestos companies responsible for their careless actions.
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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.