The Controversy Continues: An Update on Recent Litigation Against J&J and Talcum Powder Cancer Link

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More incriminating evidence against Johnson & Johnson emerges as the cosmetics giant loses a motion to overturn a multi-billion dollar verdict in favor of plaintiffs alleging the company’s body powder caused their ovarian cancer. Read our article to learn what this can mean for you.

In August of 2017, in an article entitled The Controversy Spanning Decades – Johnson & Johnson, Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer, we reported on a number of serious allegations against the cosmetics industry giant Johnson & Johnson regarding one of their most iconic products – talcum-based body powder. The allegations asserted that the company failed to adequately warn consumers about a potential link between regular use of talcum powder and the risk of developing certain types of cancer – most notably, ovarian cancer. Alarmingly, as we reported in the second article on this topic, Johnson & Johnson had known about this link since at least 1992 and thus knowingly exposed consumers to a risk of serious health damage and even death. We also mentioned that, at the time, the company was facing more than 3,000 lawsuits, some of which had already started yielding multi-million dollars verdicts in favor of the plaintiffs.

In this article, we follow up on the Johnson & Johnson talcum powder story. We will briefly analyze recently released evidence that further justifies liability claims against the company. We will also take a look at the most recent and notable verdicts in related cases where plaintiffs alleged that Johnson & Johnson’s talc products caused their ovarian cancer.

A Damning Report

After almost two years since our initial publication on the matter, the controversy surrounding Johnson & Johnson and its talcum-based body powder is far from over. If anything, in  light of recently disclosed facts, the company’s actions now appear more sinister than ever.

For example, in a report released in December 2018, the Reuters news agency presented the results of a journalist investigation into J&J’s talcum powder practices. The allegations made in the article were quite damning, to say the least. The report not only maintains and reinforces previously known claims that the health care company has known about the potential cancer risk related to its products for decades, it also shows that the company has demonstrated an even more malicious pattern of deliberate misinformation and misconduct.

The article – which can be read in its entirety here – claims that Reuters reporters were able to examine “thousands of pages of company memos, internal reports and other confidential documents” on talcum-based products as well as depositions and testimonies from related cases that have already been tried. The material shows that from at least 1971 to the early 2000s, the company’s internal analyses would sometimes discover small amounts of asbestos in both their raw talc and finished talcum-based products. This evidence is extremely incriminating for the health care giant for at least two reasons.

First, asbestos is a well-known carcinogen. There are no recognized safe levels of exposure to it. Even though asbestos isn’t strictly and completely banned in the U.S. on the federal level (as it is in many other countries), as early as 1976, some governmental agencies issued guidelines prohibiting its use in cosmetic products. Second, Johnson & Johnson knowingly kept the information about possible contamination of some of their products with small amounts of asbestos, not only from the public but also from governmental regulatory agencies.  Most notably, in 1976, J&J assured the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that no presence of asbestos minerals was detected in any of the samples of raw talc used by the company to manufacture their products. Sadly, this was an outright lie since asbestos was found in at least three tests by three different labs between from 1972 to 1975.

In the view of the emerging evidence, the number of lawsuits against the cosmetics giant is skyrocketing. Currently, the company faces about 10,600 lawsuits related to their talcum-based products across the country. However, despite the damning claims, Johnson & Johnson is fiercely fighting back and denying any wrongdoing or liability. As shown by a recent tweet on the matter, the company is still maintaining that all of their body powder products are safe. In addition, it has appealed verdicts where juries granted the plaintiffs large amounts in compensation. However, recent developments may indicate that this strategy is not going to go well for the manufacturer.

A $4.7 Billion Dollar Verdict Upheld

In July of 2018, a jury in St. Louis city in the state of Missouri ruled in favor of 22 women who alleged that the presence of asbestos in Johnson & Johnson body powder products caused them to develop ovarian cancer. The jury awarded the plaintiffs almost $4.7 billion in compensation out of which $4.14 billion were granted as punitive damages. The company appealed the ruling, claiming that multiple errors had been committed throughout the trial.

In late December, the company lost its motion to reverse the verdict. Judge Rex Burlison in a circuit court in Missouri upheld both the jury’s general conclusions as well as the decision to award $4.14 billion in punitive damages and $550 million in compensatory damages to the 22 plaintiffs. Johnson & Johnson announced that the company will seek a further appeal.

Marasco & Nesselbush Offices Accepting Talcum Powder Cases

As presented in this article, since our original publication on the Johnson & Johnson talcum powder controversy, new, incriminating evidence against the cosmetics giant has emerged. This allows lawyers representing women in cases against J&J to refine their arguments and present even stronger claims with even more chances of success.

If you or your family have suffered negative consequences to your health such as ovarian cancer and its complications that can reasonably be attributed to J&J body powder use, we urge you to contact Marasco & Nesselbush attorneys. We are still accepting new cases related to the talcum powder controversy and we believe that justice must be delivered to the victims and their families. We will represent your case firmly and we will courageously fight for full compensation for your injuries and resulting financial losses. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation where a qualified lawyer will analyze whether you have a valid claim against Johnson & Johnson or a similar talcum-based body powders and cosmetics products manufacturers.