Johnson & Johnson has a problem with its famous Baby Powder. There is mounting evidence that this popular product has contained asbestos, exposing millions of Americans to the toxic mineral. Some of them eventually developed mesothelioma and ovarian cancer, both of which are often fatal.
If your mother or another loved one died from cancer caused by asbestos in baby powder, you probably are wondering if you have legal options. Some families may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson or other baby powder manufacturers. Below is essential information to know about asbestos in baby powder and legal steps to take to obtain mesothelioma compensation for your losses.
Johnson & Johnson Asbestos Baby Powder History
Investigations from the New York Times and Reuters in the past several years have alleged that Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder had traces of asbestos in it for decades. (Slate.com). The company also allegedly knew about it and failed to share the information with consumers. Millions of people used baby talcum powder in their hygiene routine, and some developed cancer and died from it.
As the healthcare products giant has been fighting thousands of lawsuits regarding asbestos in baby powder, more recent news has sent the company reeling,
In October 2019, Johnson & Johnson recalled one lot of baby powder ‘‘out of an abundance of caution,’ according to the company. The recall was enacted because FDA found ‘sub-trace’ amounts of chrysotile asbestos – 0.00002% in one bottle of baby powder bought from an online retailer. Although the level of asbestos found was tiny, many experts say that one fiber of asbestos is one too much. J&J recalled an entire lot of 33,000 bottles because of the asbestos test result.
As a consequence of this disturbing news, Walmart, CVS, and Rite Aid pulled all 22-ounce bottles of J&J Baby Powder from their shelves. (Fiercepharma.com).
This latest news is alarming because it is proof that traces of asbestos are being found in baby powder to this day.
Study Suggests Link Between Baby Talcum Powder and Mesothelioma
Asbestos being found in baby powder so recently is a cause for concern: A recent case study of 33 patients published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggests that exposure to talcum powder tainted with asbestos can cause mesothelioma. (Time.com).
This is a critical scientific discovery that might offer new ammunition to talcum powder plaintiffs who have brought lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and other companies that sell talc-based products.
Experts who have seen the study say that it is generally challenging to prove the specific cause of any disease. But if a doctor and researcher will testify that individual mesothelioma cases were caused by asbestos exposure in baby powder, it is evidence that plaintiffs do not usually have.
Asbestos Baby Powder Case Study Details
The paper published in the above medical journal presents case studies of 33 people living with mesothelioma. It was confirmed that their only known exposure to asbestos was through using baby powder. This fact essentially rules out other causes of the disease because asbestos exposure is the major risk factor for mesothelioma.
The study authors give great detail about the cases of six victims living with cancer. Each patient had tissue testing that showed fibers that are consistent with the asbestos type that is found in baby powder. Some of the patients said they used baby powder for decades. (USnews.com).
The evidence shows that baby powder has and still may contain traces of asbestos, which can cause mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, and other serious diseases.
Recent Asbestos Baby Powder Lawsuit Verdicts
Johnson & Johnson has been the subject of thousands of lawsuits, alleging that their talcum powder contains asbestos that leads to mesothelioma. While most cases are still pending, below are some of the recent verdicts:
- $325 million verdict in New York: A New York state jury ordered J&J to pay Donna Olson and her husband for allegedly causing her mesothelioma. The same jury awarded the couple $25 million in compensatory damages days earlier. (com).
- $4.69 billion verdict in St. Louis: The Missouri state jury awarded the money to 22 women, and their families who claimed asbestos in baby powder caused their ovarian cancers. (com)
- $29 million verdict in California: An Alameda County CA jury found that J&J knew about the risks that its talcum powder was contaminated but did not warn plaintiff Teresa Leavitt, who got mesothelioma. (com)
- $37 million verdict in New Brunswick, New Jersey: A state jury awarded the funds to four plaintiffs claiming they got mesothelioma from asbestos in baby powder. The judge in this case made the rare move to strike J&J’s entire closing argument. (com)
Each asbestos baby powder case is different, but if your loved one died from mesothelioma and used baby powder, you could have a possible wrongful death lawsuit.
Asbestos Baby Powder Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If you think your mom died from asbestos exposure in baby powder, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed, This can occur in a situation where the deceased would have filed a personal injury lawsuit if he had lived. This can occur in many situations, such as a car accident or when a product manufacturer produces a defective product that leads to death.
What Must Be Proven in an Asbestos Baby Powder Lawsuit
To hold Johnson & Johnson liable for the death of your mom, the plaintiff in the case, usually through the estate of the deceased, must meet the same burden of proof that the deceased needed to show if she had lived. With negligence as an example, this means proving:
- Johnson & Johnson owed the person a duty of care (making a safe product)
- The duty of care was breached when the company made baby powder containing traces of asbestos.
- The breach of duty was a direct cause of the death (baby powder contaminated with asbestos.
- The death caused damages the plaintiff is attempting to recover (loss of companionship, mental and emotional anguish, medical and funeral costs, etc.)
In most states, a wrongful death lawsuit is filed by a representative of the deceased, such as a husband, wife, partner, or child.
Recent Asbestos Baby Powder News
- Johnson & Johnson’s Own Expert Working for FDA Found Asbestos in Talcum Powder: J&J disclosed in October 2019 that trace amounts of asbestos were found in a single bottle of asbestos, but the company questioned the validity of the tests that found the toxin. But now it has been revealed that the worker who performed the tests is an expert witness for J&J, working for the FDA.
- Asbestos in Baby Powder Linked to Mesothelioma: A new study released in late 2019 found a link between asbestos in baby powder and mesothelioma. A group of 33 trial participants developed mesothelioma after using talcum powder for years and had no other exposure to asbestos, according to the study report.
- J&J Says the Suspect Baby Powder Is Free of Asbestos: J&J reported this week that its own private testing of baby powder did not find any signs of asbestos in the one bottle that FDA said contained the carcinogen in October 2019.
- Retailers Pull Johnson’s Talcum Powder from Store Shelves: Several retailers, including CVS, Target, Walgreens, and Rite Aid stated last week that they were pulling J&J Baby Powder from store shelves due to worries about asbestos contamination. All 22-ounce bottles of the product were pulled from those retailers’ shelves while the company performed additional testing.
There is significant evidence that Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder contained asbestos for years. The company knew about it, chose to do nothing, and failed to warn the US government or consumers about asbestos in their baby powder. These have and can be the basis of a successful wrongful death lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson. Previous juries have found Johnson & Johnson negligent in asbestos cancer cases, and have won millions of dollars in damages.
If you have lost your mother or another loved one to mesothelioma from asbestos in baby powder, consider speaking to a licensed mesothelioma attorney today. You may be entitled to compensation for your losses in a wrongful death lawsuit.