Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that there was asbestos in its talcum powder, according to a Reuters investigation released on December 14. This explosive development could dramatically impact the outcome for thousands of people who have filed lawsuits against J&J claiming that their mesothelioma or ovarian cancer was caused by J&J’s talcum powder.
The Reuters investigation examined a number of J&J internal documents and deposition and trial testimony, which “ shows that from at least 1971 to the early 2000s, the company’s raw talc and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos, and that company executives, mine managers, scientists, doctors, and lawyers fretted over the problem and how to address it while failing to disclose it to regulators or the public.”
Furthermore, there’s evidence showing J&J withheld information from the FDA. In 1976, J&J assured the regulator that no asbestos “was detected in any sample” of talc produced between December 1972 and October 1973. However, between 1972 and 1975, three different labs found asbestos in its talc, and in one case the levels were reported as “rather high.”
In response to the Reuters investigation, J&J released a statement defending its signature product. The company stated, “Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder is safe and asbestos-free… Thousands of independent tests by regulators and the world’s leading labs prove our baby powder has never contained asbestos.”
Authorities like the World Health Organization identify no safe level of exposure to asbestos. Even exposure to small amounts of it can be enough to cause cancer.
The Reuters investigation strengthens the argument by plaintiffs across the country that consistent use of J&J’s talcum powder has contributed to their cancer diagnoses, as plaintiffs have repeatedly advanced the theory that the talcum powder at issue contains dangerous asbestos despite J&J’s claims to the contrary.
In total, there are over 11,700 talcum powder claims filed against J&J. In a case tried in St. Louis earlier this year, the jury awarded 22 plaintiffs $4.69 billion in damages. Needless to say, the impact of this shocking development will be felt in years to come in courtrooms across America.
GoldenbergLaw is investigating claims in which an individual was diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after years of extensive talcum powder use. Contact us. We deliver the Gold standard advocacy you deserve.