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Johnson & Johnson Baby (Talcum) Powder Case Goes to Trial

Baby powder

A New York judge issued a recent decision ordering cosmetics company Johnson & Johnson to stand trial in one of many lawsuits alleging that their baby powder contain a form of asbestos-linked to cancer. Read on for details about the case, and contact a skilled asbestos lawyer if you’ve been injured by a defective or contaminated product.

Johnson & Johnson Knowingly Included Dangerous Chemicals in Their Talcum Powder

According to the lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court of New York County, a woman had been using J&J baby powder and other talc-based products sold by J&J for years. At the age of 76, she developed pleural mesothelioma. Recently discovered internal documents from J&J show that their talcum powder products occasionally tested positive for the presence of asbestos. The plaintiff claims that she did not encounter asbestos in any other location, such as at work or at home, so the carcinogenic chemicals discovered in the J&J products are the only reasonable source of her exposure.

Talc, a key ingredient in baby powder, does not naturally contain asbestos. Talc and asbestos, however, are often found in deposits that are side-by-side, creating the risk of contamination. State and federal agencies began heavily regulating asbestos in the 1970s after the risks of asbestos exposure were determined, but many private companies were already aware of the risk and continued to manufacture asbestos-based products regardless.

Thousands of lawsuits have been brought against J&J based on the presence of asbestos in their talcum powder products. J&J recently filed for summary judgment in the New York action, seeking to have the matter thrown out of court. The New York court rejected the motion, ordering that the case will proceed to trial.

Report Shows Johnson & Johnson Knew About the Asbestos

A recent investigative report from Reuters suggested that J&J knew for years that its baby powder included asbestos, and that asbestos was linked to cancer. Though J&J has denied the presence of asbestos in its baby powder, Reuters reports that as far back as 1972 at least three different lab tests conducted internally by J&J had found asbestos in the talc used to make its baby powder.

Reuters cited internal documents, company memos, and extensive conversations that directly contradict J&J’s previous statements that they had no knowledge of any asbestos contamination in their talcum powder products. Internal documents and discussions indicate they were aware that their talc had tested positive for asbestos at various points, and that they had gone so far as to influence U.S. regulators on the regulation of talc and the presence of asbestos in other cosmetic talc products.

If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective product in New York, get help filing a claim for damages by contacting the skilled and passionate Hudson Valley product defect lawyers at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP for a free consultation on your case, in Kingston at 845-331-4100, or in Marlboro at 845-236-4411.

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