Johnson & Johnson is facing nearly 12,000 lawsuits from individuals who claim their cancers were caused by the company’s powder products. These cases include suits from thousands of women who charge that Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products caused their ovarian cancer.
Looking back over nearly 50 years, it appears that while Johnson & Johnson knew their powders tested positive for asbestos, the company simply chose to ignore the science and hide the data from the public.
Johnson & Johnson and Talc: A Long (and Highly Profitable) Relationship
Talc, a mineral composed of magnesium, silicon, oxygen, and hydrogen, is used extensively in cosmetics and personal care products. Women sometimes use talcum powder on their genital areas, sanitary napkins, or diaphragms to absorb moisture and odor – contrary to the guidance of most physicians.
For more than a century, Johnson & Johnson has dominated the talc powder market. Its talc products added $420 million to its sales in 2017. Perhaps just as important, Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder contributes significantly to the company’s image as “a caring company.”
Fifty Years of Evidence and Denials
From at least 1971 to the early 2000s, company documents and trial testimony indicate that small amounts of asbestos – mineral fibers which cause cancer, typically located in rock and soil– could be found in Johnson & Johnson’s raw talc and finished powders.
- In the early 1970s, scientists first discovered talc particles in ovarian tumors.
- In May 1974, the director of research and development at Johnson & Johnson’s Windsor, Vermont mine recommended using citric acid to provide protection against materials found in all talc ores extracted from the site. He noted these materials represented “a severe health hazard.”
- A 1982 study by Harvard researcher Daniel Cramer linked talcum powder and ovarian cancer. That study was followed by several more, all of which found an increased risk of ovarian cancer among regular users of talcum powder.
- During that same time, Johnson & Johnson executives, mine managers, scientists, doctors, and lawyers voiced concern about the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. While the issue was discussed internally, it was never disclosed to regulators or the general public.
- Johnson & Johnson also succeeded in curbing regulators’ plans to curtail asbestos use in cosmetic talc products, as well as scientific research on talc’s health effects.
To this day, Johnson & Johnson continues to maintain there is no science to
Ovarian Cancer Victims Take Their Fight to Court
Despite Johnson & Johnson’s claims that there is no relationship between its talc products and ovarian cancer, the company is facing thousands of lawsuits from women with ovarian cancer.
- A St. Louis jury awarded nearly $4.7 billion in damages to 22 women and their families after they claimed asbestos in Johnson & Johnson talcum powder contributed to their ovarian cancer.
- Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay nearly $1 billion in total damages after five trials in Missouri and California charging its baby powder is causing ovarian cancer.
- A Los Angeles jury awarded $417 million in damages to a woman after finding that Johnson & Johnson failed to provide warnings that its baby powder could cause ovarian cancer.
If You Suspect Your Ovarian Cancer Was Caused by Talc …
If you are suffering from ovarian cancer and suspect it may have been caused by talcum powder or other talc products produced by Johnson & Johnson, please contact the attorneys at Pintas & Mullins today. All consultations are free and you pay nothing unless we win.