According to Bloomberg, Johnson & Johnson has reached a tentative settlement agreement of nearly $700 million to resolve an investigation brought on by more than 40 U.S. states. The investigation is focused on the corporation’s marketing tactics for its talc-based baby powder. The states allege that J&J knew its talc was often contaminated with asbestos and wrongfully marketed the product by not disclosing the health risks to the public.
The settlement would prevent any future lawsuits from these states alleging Johnson & Johnson knew about its asbestos-contaminated talc and the link to cancers like mesothelioma yet intentionally hid the dangers from consumers. People familiar with the agreement reported that J&J and representatives for the state attorneys general are still working out the specific details but have agreed on the general settlement amount.
This is the newest development in Johnson & Johnson’s decade-long legal battle with asbestos claims. Most recently, the corporation has twice failed to file for bankruptcy to avoid lawsuits.
Johnson & Johnson’s History with Asbestos-Contaminated Talc
Johnson & Johnson is a global pharmaceutical corporation with health and hygienic products. One of its most known products is the company’s baby powder, which was formerly manufactured with a talcum powder base.
Talcum powder is made from talc, a naturally occurring mineral that often forms in close proximity to asbestos, a cancer-causing mineral. Since the two minerals form near each other, they often mix together, which means any talc-based product could potentially be contaminated with asbestos.
Many publications and consumers allege Johnson & Johnson knew about the contaminated talc but continued to promote and sell it for decades. The corporation never warned the public of the risks of asbestos contamination and how exposure to asbestos could result in serious health issues such as mesothelioma. Even now – after multiple tests showed samples of the Baby Powder contained microscopic asbestos fibers – Johnson & Johnson claims the product is safe to use and does not contain asbestos.
Due to corporate negligence, J&J has faced and still must face tens of thousands of lawsuits and has made multiple attempts to settle either many or all of these claims. While J&J has settled large batches of lawsuits in the past, the company has yet to reach a settlement to conclude every pending claim or protect itself from future lawsuits. This $700 million settlement agreement with the states is one of the few times the corporation has been successful in settling any of its large-scale legal issues.
If you or someone you know used Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder before the company released a talc-free version of the product, connect with our patient advocates to learn more about the health risks of asbestos-contaminated talc.
Sources & Author
J&J to Pay $700 Million to Settle States’ Talc Investigation (2). Bloomberg Law. Retrieved from: https://news.bloomberglaw.com/health-law-and-business/j-j-to-pay-700-million-to-settle-states-talc-marketing-probe. Accessed: 01/09/2023.
Sources & Author