Johnson & Johnson has been a regular defendant in mesothelioma lawsuits due to allegations that its baby powder is contaminated with asbestos. However, the people filing those claims were the individuals affected by this rare cancer.
The state of New Mexico, led by Attorney General Hector Balderas, has sued Johnson & Johnson for “misleading consumers,” according to a report in the New York Times. The allegations specify that the company deceived “children and black and Hispanic women” about whether its talcum-based baby powder product was safe.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday, Jan. 2, possibly making it the first asbestos-related claim of 2020.
A government institution fighting for the victims of Johnson & Johnson’s alleged negligence gives more credibility to ongoing and future lawsuits. Hopefully, this move will inspire more individuals who were cheated out of their good health to file their own claims.
How Is Johnson & Johnson Connected to Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that forms in the thin linings around specific cavities or organs. Pleural mesothelioma forms in the membrane that separates the lung cavity and chest wall. Peritoneal mesothelioma originates in the lining around the abdominal cavity. Those two types account for nearly all mesothelioma cases.
Asbestos was used in commercial capacities (like construction, insulation and electrical work) for decades. However, the deadly mineral can also contaminate other substances that cohabitate with it in the earth’s soil. One such material is talcum, often shortened to “talc,” which is used for baby powder, makeup, and other health and beauty products.
Asbestos easily fragments, causing sharp fibers to enter the air or mix with talc. Anyone using products with this mineral could be exposed to those fibers, either through inhalation or ingestion.
Those fibers then pierce through the sensitive cellular linings in the body and cause mutation. Experts believe this process is how Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder causes mesothelioma.
Johnson & Johnson Asbestos Lawsuits Helping Victims
Johnson & Johnson’s 2019 included lawsuits from victims of asbestos exposure and numerous reports about asbestos infiltrating its talc product and causing cancer. The New York Times lists the number of active talc-product-related lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson at “more than 16,800.”
Just in that calendar year, Mesothelioma Guide reported the following stories about the company’s link to mesothelioma:
- A United States congressman’s demand for information about the relationship between Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and asbestos
- A $29.4 million verdict and a $300 million verdict awarded in separate Johnson & Johnson asbestos lawsuits
- The U.S. Justice Department starting an investigation into Johnson & Johnson
- The company recalling 33,000 bottles of its baby powder after a study found asbestos in the product
More Mesothelioma Patients Expected to Sue in the Future
2020 isn’t starting any better for Johnson & Johnson, nor should it if the allegations of misleading and exploiting its consumers are true.
A Reuters report from 2018 claims Johnson & Johnson knew of asbestos contamination in its talc products for many years. New Mexico’s lawsuit claims the same. According to the New York Times report:
“The company, ‘concealed and failed to warn consumers about the dangers associated with their talc products…’”
As more news surfaces, more Americans learn that Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder was unsafe — possibly for decades. This knowledge will likely help more victims come forward with mesothelioma lawsuits.
If you’ve ever interacted with Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder — either used on you or when you used it for your child — you could’ve been exposed to asbestos. Mesothelioma usually develops between 20 and 50 years after exposure, so a recent diagnosis could be connected to using the product decades ago.
Anyone who has mesothelioma but doesn’t know the cause of their disease should contact our experts. The Mesothelioma Guide patient advocate team can answer the critical questions about your diagnosis and explain how using products like Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder, or working in specific occupations, involved constant asbestos exposure.
Email one of our patient advocates — and our registered nurse — Jenna Campagna (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want answers.
- Johnson & Johnson Sued Over Baby Powder by New Mexico. The New York Times. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/03/business/johnson-johnson-baby-powder-new-mexico-suit.html. Accessed: 01/06/20.
Sources & Author