Johnson & Johnson has been the leading manufacturer of baby power for decades. Then the company was slapped with a $4.7 billion verdict against it after 22 women claimed that the company’s baby powder caused their ovarian cancer. This July 2018 ruling led to further investigations of the company.
It has now come to light that the company knew from three independent tests from the 1970s that the company’s talc, which gives baby powder its powdery texture, contained small amounts of asbestos, which causes cancer. According to recent reporting, the company did not communicate these results and sometimes took actions to purposely obfuscate them. This revelation caused to company’s stock to plunge 11 percent.
More suits on the horizon
The news gets worse for Johnson & Johnson. There was evidence discovered in 2016 that the company targeted minority women for more aggressive marketing because they used the product at higher rate than white women did. According to news reports, another 11,700 women have lined up to sue the beleaguered company. All of these cases are related to talc.
Illness can take years to surface
It is now understood that Asbestos can cause mesotheliomas, which are malignant forms of cancer that can take decades to appear. Therefore, consumers who bought and used the product in the ’80s and ’90s may only now see the symptoms. While the FDA has not changed laws regarding talc and other cosmetic products, it is seeing pressure to do so.
Attorneys can provide guidance
The large payout to the 22 women is unusual and unlikely to be repeated. However, it is crucial that regular users of this product in years past to be tested by doctors and contact an attorney to discuss their situation. Regardless of whether new laws are passed, the fact is that Johnson & Johnson is guilty of knowingly allowing consumers to use a cancer-causing product. As with other personal injury cases, an attorney can help hold the negligent party responsible for their actions.