For many years, Johnson’s Baby Powder was a familiar item to most homes, used not only for infants but also to help Americans of all ages keep dry and comfortable. But now, that once seemingly innocuous product apparently has a malevolent side effect – cancer.
According to thousands of lawsuits – 19,400 reported in the United States at last count – and several enormous jury verdicts, the once-iconic Johnson’s Baby Powder contains asbestos and has resulted in deadly ovarian cancer in women and mesothelioma, a cancer that attacks the lungs and other organs.
Johnson & Johnson recently took its Baby Powder off the market in the United States and Canada, insisting that its brand of talcum powder does not contain asbestos but acknowledging lagging sales in the wake of the many lawsuits and jury verdicts that say otherwise.
At last count, J&J had lost 15 jury verdicts in talcum powder cases. (A former J&J talcum product called Shower to Shower has also been the object of civil litigation.) Some of those cases have been mass torts with numerous plaintiffs.
In one trial, a Missouri jury awarded $4.69 billion to 22 women who contracted ovarian cancer after using Johnson’s Baby Powder over many years. Just this past February, a jury in New Jersey found Johnson & Johnson liable in a baby powder case and handed down a $787 million verdict for four women stricken with mesothelioma. Both verdicts included substantial punitive damages apparently because, according to the suits, J&J was aware for years of the link between its baby powder and cancer yet failed to warn customers of the risk.
Independent news sources have investigated the claims and found documents that some J&J officials were concerned that its powder contained small amounts of asbestos, which can occur naturally underground near talc.
Noted the Reuters news agency: "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."
If you or a loved one developed ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after long-term use of Johnson’s Baby Powder or Shower to Shower, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Kline & Specter, PC, with more than 40 attorneys, five of whom are also doctor/lawyers – the most in the nation – will provide a free evaluation of your case. The law firm handles cases in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware and works with local attorneys in other states across the nation as applicable.
The law firm has had great success in product liability cases against major corporations, including Johnson & Johnson. In late 2019, Kline & Specter won an $8 billion punitive damages verdict in a pharmaceutical trial against J&J and has won nine verdicts totaling $347 million against the giant pharmaceutical company in vaginal mesh litigation.