Like Gerber Baby Food and Pampers Disposable Diapers, Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder was a staple of the infant years of many Americans. It has been a familiar part of medicine cabinets and changing tables for several decades. It provides nostalgic feelings for many parents who associate the smell of the product with newborns and infants. However, consumers have seen the end of this iconic product as the spring of 2020 saw Johnson & Johnson take this product, as well as Shower to Shower powders, off the market in the United States and Canada.
Johnson & Johnson, a longtime manufacturer of personal care products like soaps, shampoos, lotions, and until recently, baby powder, announced that it will no longer produce talc-based powder but will continue to manufacture a cornstarch-based baby powder.
The company has never admitted that its product was a cancer risk nor that the product contained asbestos. However, over 19,000 lawsuits have been filed, primarily on behalf of women who claim the product caused their ovarian cancers. Primarily a result of the negative publicity of thousands of lawsuits, sales have dropped consistently. According to J & J, it was this fact rather than the product posing any health risks that forced the decision to remove the product from American and Canadian markets.
Most of these lawsuits contain allegations that talc mining results in asbestos contamination because the minerals intermingle underground. Asbestos has been linked to a variety of respiratory diseases including mesothelioma, and recently was found in common cosmetics.
Johnson & Johnson lawyers state that they will “continue to vigorously defend the product” in court despite a Missouri jury awarding $4.7 billion to 22 women in 2018 and another awarding $29 million to a California woman in 2019 after it ruled in favor of her claim that Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder caused her to develop mesothelioma.
In February 2020, a jury in New Jersey found Johnson & Johnson liable and awarded $787 million to four women stricken with mesothelioma. This verdict included substantial punitive damages because, according to the plaintiffs’ claims, J & J was aware of the link between its baby powder and cancer for years but still failed to warn consumers of the risk. From at least 1971 to the early 2000s, the company’s raw talc and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos
Presently, the company is appealing practically every claim that resulted in an unfavorable verdict. There are still more than 16,000 talc-related lawsuits pending against Johnson & Johnson.
Anyone who has been diagnosed with an illness linked to the use of talc-based baby powder may be eligible to join an existing class-action lawsuit. Powell Law has an established 115-year-old reputation throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. If you have any questions about filing a claim for damages caused by any defective product, contact Powell Law (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE and you don’t pay a fee unless we win.