The Asbestos and Mesothelioma Litigation against Johnson and Johnson in the United States
Johnson and Johnson (J&J) is a multinational corporation headquartered in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and one of the largest manufacturers of consumer healthcare products in the world. However, in recent years, the company has faced a wave of lawsuits over allegations that its talc-based products contain asbestos, a carcinogenic mineral that can cause mesothelioma, a rare and deadly cancer.The Talc and Asbestos Controversy
The controversy over J&J's talc-based products began in the early 1970s when a report showed that talc mined in Vermont contained asbestos. However, J&J denied any presence of asbestos in its talc products and continued to market them as safe and pure.
In 2018, a Reuters investigation revealed that J&J had known for decades that its talc-based products contained asbestos but failed to inform consumers and regulators. The investigation cited internal company documents, memos, and reports that showed J&J had discussed the presence of asbestos in talc and its potential health risks as early as the 1970s.The Products or Employees Exposed to Asbestos
J&J's talc-based products include its iconic Baby Powder, Shower to Shower, and other personal care products. These products were used by millions of people worldwide, primarily women and babies, for decades. However, the company now faces allegations that these products contained asbestos and caused mesothelioma and other cancers.
Apart from its talc-based products, J&J's facilities, particularly its cornstarch powder factories, were also exposed to asbestos. The company used asbestos-containing materials in the construction of its factories, including pipes, insulation, and other building materials. This resulted in many of its employees being exposed to asbestos and developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.Litigation and Payments Made by Johnson and Johnson
Since 2016, J&J has faced over 21,000 lawsuits over allegations that its talc-based products cause cancer. In most cases, the plaintiffs claim that they developed mesothelioma after using J&J's talc products, while others allege that they developed ovarian cancer.
J&J has denied these allegations and has fought most of the lawsuits in court. However, the company has lost several high-profile cases and has been ordered to pay billions of dollars in damages to the plaintiffs.
In 2018, a Missouri jury awarded $4.69 billion to 22 women who claimed that J&J's talc products caused their ovarian cancer. This verdict was later reduced to $2.1 billion on appeal. In another case, a California jury awarded $29.4 million to a woman who alleged that J&J's talc products caused her mesothelioma.
Apart from these lawsuits, J&J has also faced litigation over its employees' exposure to asbestos. In 2019, the company agreed to pay $117 million to settle claims that its talc products caused mesothelioma and other cancers in over 1,000 people who worked at J&J's facilities.Lawsuits Faced by Johnson and Johnson Because of Asbestos
Apart from the talc and mesothelioma lawsuits, Johnson and Johnson have faced numerous lawsuits related to their baby powder products, alleging that they contained asbestos and caused cancer. In one case, a woman claimed that she developed mesothelioma after using baby powder for decades. The case was settled for an undisclosed amount in 2019. Another product manufactured by Johnson and Johnson that has been the subject of lawsuits is Shower to Shower body powder. Like the talcum powder and baby powder products, lawsuits have alleged that these products contained asbestos and caused cancer. In 2016, a jury awarded $72 million to the family of a woman who died of ovarian cancer after using Shower to Shower for years.Contact Us
The results of asbestos litigation-related lawsuits have varied widely. Some mesothelioma victims have been awarded substantial damages in lawsuits against companies that exposed them to asbestos, while others have received little or no compensation.
The Throneberry Law Group is a law firm that specializes in asbestos and mesothelioma cases. The firm has extensive experience representing victims of asbestos exposure and helping them obtain the justice and compensation they deserve. If you or someone you believe may be a victim of asbestos exposure, contact us now for a consultation. We are ready to help.