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Johnson & Johnson fighting further lawsuits alleging asbestos in talc caused mesothelioma and ovarian cancer
Coleman Legal LLP
Feb 13, 2018

Johnson & Johnson fighting further claims that asbestos was in its talcum power

Johnson & Johnson has been the defendant in many lawsuits over the past number of years regarding claims that people have developed mesothelioma, and ovarian cancer, due to Johnson & Johnson talcum powder containing asbestos.

In its natural form, some talc contains asbestos, a substance known to cause cancers in and around the lungs when inhaled.

Concerns about possible links between talcum powder and cancer have mainly focussed on:

  • Whether people who have long-term exposure to natural talc fibres at work, such as talc miners, are at higher risk of lung cancer from breathing them in.
  • Whether women who apply talcum powder regularly in the genital area have an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Johnson & Johnson are facing lawsuits currently by around 5,500 plaintiffs in the United States asserting talcum powder-related claims.

The most recent of these claims asserts that Johnson & Johnson knew about the asbestos issue for decades and have “disseminated false, misleading, and biased information regard the safety of the produce to the public…”

In five trials in the state of Missouri involving ovarian cancer lawsuits, juries found J&J liable four times and awarded the plaintiffs $307 million. In California, a jury awarded a now-deceased woman $417 million.

In a class action filed in January 2018 a Johnson & Johnson investor claims the company knew for decades that its talcum powder products contained asbestos fibres, and exposure could cause cancer. The suit named J&J as a defendant along with CEO Alex Gorsky and CFO Dominic Caruso.  The lawsuit is being filed by plaintiff Frank Hall on behalf of investors who purchased Johnson & Johnson shares between February 2013 and February 2018.

The plaintiff alleges that Johnson & Johnson ”has known for decades that its talc products, such as its Baby Powder, include asbestos fibers and that the exposure to those fibers can cause ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.”

The case of Lanzo v. Cyprus Amex Minerals Co, the second Johnson & Johnson talcum powder mesothelioma case to go to trial, has commenced in New Jersey.

In Johnson & Johnson’s latest quarterly report, the company reported 4,800 lawsuits alleging injury from talc use.



Keith Rolls Partner Coleman Legal LLP

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