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.