Manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products are safe and effective before they are marketing, promoted, and sold in the U.S. market. When manufacturers fail that duty, they may be held liable for injuries sustained by patients and consumers.
Case Study: Dangerous Products: Talcum Powder
On July 12, 2018, 22 plaintiffs and their families were awarded $4.69 billion in damages by a St. Louis jury that concluded Johnson & Johnson knew its talc-based products could be contaminated with asbestos but failed to warn consumers. The plaintiffs were women who developed ovarian cancer after using J&J’s products, like Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. More than 11,700 claims are pending in courts around the country, and 21 trials have already been scheduled including cases consolidated to Los Angeles state court.
Several mesothelioma lawsuits have also been filed against Johnson & Johnson alleging that use of Baby Powder caused the development of the rare and deadly cancer that is associated with asbestos exposure.
In April 2018, a New Jersey jury awarded $37 million in damages to a man who said he developed mesothelioma due to the asbestos fibers in Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder, which the man reportedly used regularly throughout his life.
Typical Claimant Criteria
- Claimant must have been diagnosed with an ovarian-type cancer, or;
- Claimant must have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, and;
- Claimant must have used Baby Powder or Shower to Shower daily for at least five years, and;
- Claimant must have used the powder in undergarments or applied it to the genital area/ or breathed in the dust during use, and;
- Claimant must not be predisposed to ovarian cancer via genetic disorder
Legal claims made by plaintiffs involved in talc cancer litigation include:
- Breach of implied warranty
- Failure to warn