Last year, Johnson & Johnson made headlines after their ubiquitous baby powder was linked to ovarian cancer. Concerns began to arise that the talc-based product may contain asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral whose fibers are known to cause mesothelioma and other deadly lung conditions.
Although regulations have been put in place to limit the use of asbestos in products, the United States has declined to issue an outright ban on asbestos use. Currently products can be made with asbestos provided the asbestos content is less than 1 percent of the product. This does not, however, exempt companies from liability.
This week a New Jersey jury ruled in favor of a banker and his wife, requiring Johnson & Johnson and the company’s talc supplier to pay $37 million in compensatory damages after the banker developed mesothelioma, a highly aggressive and deadly form of cancer. The banker, who had used Johnson’s baby powder for more than 30 years, believed he ingested the asbestos while inhaling dust from the powder throughout his lifetime.
This is just one of many lawsuits the company is facing right now. While most are associated with ovarian cancer, there are several ongoing mesothelioma lawsuits against the company. According to Mesothelioma.com, company documents indicate that the company was aware that some of their talc may have been contaminated with asbestos. Victims are seeking to hold the company accountable for failure to ensure the safety of their product and failing to warn the public of this danger.
Mesothelioma cases can be challenging because it often takes years to develop after the initial exposure to asbestos. Individuals pursuing compensation for developing mesothelioma must be able to identify the source of asbestos exposure. Asbestos injury cases are often complex. Mesothelioma victims benefit from having attorneys who are experienced in handling these types of claims.