Johnson & Johnson recently announced that it ceased the sale of its talcum-based baby powder in the United States and Canada. This May 19 announcement came after the company assessed its products in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this is a milestone for the once-beloved product that is now embroiled in state and federal lawsuits involving tens-of-thousands of plaintiffs who allege that J&J’s talcum-based products cause ovarian cancer, mesothelioma and lung cancer. The company will continue to sell the baby powder in other markets around the world where there is still a high demand.
Neither side believes that taking it off the U.S. and Canadian markets will have a bearing on these ongoing lawsuits that the company faces. Nevertheless, things are not going well for Johnson & Johnson:
- Thirty-three thousand bottles of talc-based baby powder were recalled in the fall of 2019 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found asbestos in them.
- A judge in multidistrict litigation allowed the plaintiff’s expert witnesses to testify in future federal trials involving talc-based products.
The company has won a few appeals, but it has $4.7 billion in awards at the state level against it with much more to come. One New Jersey case involving mesothelioma awarded $750 million in punitive damages to four plaintiffs. There have been more than $100 million already awarded in Louisiana.
An attorney can help
Those who have questions about the talc-based products once manufactured by Johnson & Johnson can speak with a personal injury attorney for free. These legal professionals can provide guidance and answers based on experience handling product liability cases like those against J&J.