Pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson recently agreed to a settlement in a talcum powder asbestos cancer lawsuit brought by a woman who claims her rare form of cancer was caused by decades of using the company’s cosmetics products. While the terms of the settlement were not immediately clear, the resolution is nonetheless significant because Johnson & Johnson has settled very few lawsuits brought by plaintiffs alleging similar claims against the company.
According to the talcum powder asbestos cancer lawsuit, filed in a Manhattan New York Supreme Court, the 62-year-old plaintiff developed mesothelioma from decades of using Johnson & Johnson’s iconic Baby Powder product. The plaintiff claimed she developed mesothelioma from carcinogenic asbestos fibers contained within the talcum powder and that Johnson & Johnson knew for years about the risk of contamination in its talc-based products but provided no warning to consumers.
The settlement was reached in the judge’s chambers just before attorneys for both sides were to commence with their opening statements in the trial. Thus far, Johnson & Johnson has chosen to litigate and defend to trial most of the talcum powder cancer lawsuits brought against it in state courts across the country and has chosen to resolve very few before or during trial. Many of those trials have resulted in significant verdicts on behalf of the plaintiffs who claimed they developed various forms of cancer, including mesothelioma, from years of using talc-based products, like Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, contaminated with asbestos fibers.
While talc does not contain asbestos itself, the two are both naturally occurring minerals which can often be found in deposits side by side one another. If talc sourcing companies do not take precautions to prevent cross contamination, the resulting talcum powder can be contaminated with carcinogenic asbestos fibers. Although federal regulations have mandated that talcum powder does not contain asbestos for many years now, lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson claim that internal company records show they knew of tests which showed their products tested positive for asbestos contamination.
Johnson & Johnson currently faces an estimated 17,000 talcum powder asbestos cancer lawsuits in state and federal courts across the country. Further, jury verdicts have resulted in over $5 billion in total compensation awarded to dozens of plaintiffs who claim they suffered from mesothelioma and ovarian cancer as a result of using Johnson & Johnson products contaminated with asbestos fibers. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer directly linked to asbestos exposure and commonly affects thin linings of tissue surrounding vital organs such as the heart and lungs and the abdominal cavity, though it is also known to affect other areas of the body, as well.
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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.