Johnson & Johnson Class Action Lawsuit: What You Need to Know

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Johnson & Johnson is the world’s largest pharmaceutical company. According to Yahoo Finance, J&J accumulated $93.8 billion in revenue in 2021.

The company produces many health care products, from mouthwash (Listerine) and adhesive bandages (Band-Aid) to painkillers (Tylenol) and even their own COVID-19 vaccine.

With Big Pharma having its finger in almost every health care pie, it’s not a surprise that they also develop and manufacture baby care and beauty products, including Neutrogena, Aveeno, and Johnson’s Baby Lotion.

Despite its success, J&J is no stranger to legal scandals, having been the subject of product recalls over the years.

Johnson & Johnson’s Product Recalls

In 2013, 200,000 bottles of Motrin for infants were recalled for possibly containing tiny plastic particles. The year before, J&J’s Gynecare Prolift Kit was recalled after users experienced vaginal bleeding and scarring as well as severe pain.

In 2019, the company once again recalled a product, but this time, it was their best-selling Johnson’s Baby Powder. J&J pulled 30,000 bottles of Johnson’s Baby Powder from shelves after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found traces of asbestos in a bottle sent for testing.

Following the recall, the pharmaceutical company became the subject of thousands of federal lawsuits from consumers alleging that the talc-based baby powder was responsible for their ovarian cancer.

Does Talc Cause Cancer?

Johnson’s Baby Powder is a talc-based product. Talc or talcum powder contains naturally occurring minerals, including magnesium, oxygen, and silicon, which help the powder absorb moisture, cut down friction on the skin, and prevent rashes.

However, some talcum powder products also contain asbestos, another naturally occurring mineral that is classified as a carcinogen or a substance that can cause cancer.

The US records 3,000 new cases of malignant mesothelioma every year. It’s a type of cancer that develops in the lining that covers the surface of the body’s organs and is linked to prolonged exposure to asbestos.

Ovarian cancer, the fifth most common cause of cancer-related deaths among adult women, has also been linked to asbestos exposure.

Approximately 40% of women regularly use talc-based powder, according to Drugwatch, with most of them reporting using Johnson’s Baby Powder or Shower to Shower, another J&J product. Studies have also shown that women who regularly used talc powder near their genitals had a 33% higher risk of ovarian cancer.

Baby Powder Lawsuits Against Johnson & Johnson

According to Reuters, the pharmaceutical company has known for years that their baby powder products may have traces of asbestos but failed to pull the products from the market.

As such, consumers, including women who had or has ovarian cancer, filed lawsuits against J&J for not providing adequate warnings of the risks involved in using their talc-based powder.

While the recall happened in late 2019 and J&J stopped manufacturing the baby powder in the US and Canada in 2020, the first talc powder-related lawsuit was decided in 2016.

The family of a Missouri woman who died of ovarian cancer in 2016 after using Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for over 35 years was awarded $72 million.

Since then, several talcum powder cancer lawsuits have been filed against J&J and resulted in settlements.

Filing a Baby Powder Class Action Lawsuit

Have you or a loved one used Johnson’s Baby Powder for a prolonged period? If the answer is “yes,” and you or your loved one developed ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, or other asbestos-related conditions, you could join a class-action lawsuit against J&J with the help of Haffner Law.

Our team of seasoned class action lawyers provides legal services to help clients pursue compensation and damages.

Contact our firm at 1-844-HAFFNER (423-3637) for a free consultation today.

Johnson & Johnson’s Talc Baby Powder Cancer Lawsuit

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In 1999, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) was sued over allegations that the company’s talc-based baby powder contained the known carcinogen asbestos. The lawsuit was filed by Darlene Coker, who, before the case, was an avid user of the product.

Coker had developed mesothelioma, a form of cancer that affected the lungs and other organs. She was baffled, as the illness is mainly caused by exposure to asbestos, a substance she couldn’t have come across in her line of work. During that time, Coker was running a massage school in Lumberton, TX. So, how did she develop the deadly disease?

Determined to get answers, Coker hired personal injury lawyer Herschel Hobson who zeroed in on the likely cause—the Johnson’s Baby Powder which Coker also used on her infant children. She sued J&J, claiming that the “poisonous talc” in the powder was what caused her disease.

J&J denied the claim, saying that their Baby Powder was asbestos-free. During the entirety of the case, the company was able to evade Hobson’s request to release talc test results and other internal records. As a result, Coker was forced to drop the charges due to a lack of evidence.

Recent Developments

Fast-forward to 2018. Almost two decades later, over 11,700 victims have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson. Just like Coker, the plaintiffs alleged that the company’s talcum powder caused their cancer. A great majority of the cases involved thousands of women claiming they developed ovarian cancer from years of using J&J’s product.

With the shocking number of lawsuits, J&J was compelled to release years’ worth of company memos, internal reports, and other confidential information to the victims’ lawyers. And in recent developments, the company agreed to pay over $100 million worth of settlements to thousands of plaintiffs claiming that the iconic Baby Powder caused their cancers.

Since 2019, the company has recalled more than 33,000 bottles of baby powder. It has also replaced its talc-based baby powder with cornstarch-based products. However, despite everything that transpired, J&J still stands by the claim that their products are asbestos-free.

Health Risks of Talcum Powder

Talcum or talc is a mineral substance found in various personal and cosmetic products like powders and eye shadows. It is added due to its ability to absorb moisture, prevent caking, and soften products.

However, some forms of talc may contain the carcinogen, asbestos. Unless it is proven to be asbestos-free, talc in powders and other cosmetic products should be avoided.

In the 1970s, doctors found talc particles deeply embedded within patients’ ovarian tumors. In 1982, Harvard researcher Daniel Cramer saw a connection between the use of talc-based products on genitals and ovarian cancer. Since then, more and more researchers have been exploring the potential role of talc in cancer.

Get the Justice You Deserve

Despite years of research, some manufacturers still dismiss the potential link between talc and cancer—case in point, Johnson & Johnson. However, news reports have revealed that these companies were aware of the potential health risks of their products, yet they failed to disclose this vital information to customers.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, reach out to Haffner Law. We are highly experienced in representing clients in personal injury lawsuits such as talc ovarian cancer cases. Our team of lawyers will help you hold the manufacturer accountable and get the compensation you deserve.

Call us at (213) 514-5681 to schedule a no-obligation consultation with our talc ovarian cancer lawyers