A New Jersey state jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $750 million in damages to plaintiffs who allege the company’s baby powder contributed to their cancer. The ruling reduced to $185 million due to state laws that cap punitive damages at five times the compensatory damages (which ruled earlier at $37.2 million).
Ongoing litigation against manufacturers
This legal triumph is one of many cases settled against the manufacturers of talc-based baby powder that has culminated in over 16,000 lawsuits alleging Johnson & Johnson sold talc contaminated with asbestos.
How does asbestos find its way into baby powder?
- Talc powder, a soft mineral, is similar in structure to asbestos.
- The two occur near each other in mineral deposits, which increases the likelihood of contamination.
- Talc is an ingredient in baby powder, cosmetics and automotive plastics.
The case against talc powder
A US government study on baby powder published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed no strong evidence of the link between ovarian cancers and baby powder use. The reliability of the methods used for these findings are questionable. The study failed to make a distinction between talc baby powders and talc alternatives. The American Cancer Society noted that other studies, using different methods, found small increases in the risk of ovarian cancer in women. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (affiliate of the World Health Organization) categorized talc as a potential cancer-causing agent.
Finding compensation for cancer patients
Ovarian cancer is a diagnosis that you or your loved one will have to live with for the rest of your lives. Company’s that purposely mislead consumers regarding the safety of their products should be held accountable. If you feel your ovarian cancer may be related to talc exposure, contact a lawyer experienced in personal injury and product liability.