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The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. Your trusted legal advisors since 1976

Double Whammy for Johnson & Johnson in Talcum Powder Lawsuit Saga


A one-two punch from the federal government and aggressive personal injury attorneys may mean that talcum powder victims are closer than ever to final justice and compensation.

In California, an Alameda County jury awarded a talcum powder victim $29 million based on evidence that continued product use caused her mesothelioma. This latest verdict is the latest in a series of legal setbacks for the pharmaceutical giant. The avalanche of lawsuits, which now number over 13,000, along with a long string of negative verdicts has already forced a J&J talc supplier into bankruptcy.

The good news for Johnson & Johnson is that the $29 million verdict is much smaller than the record $4.7 billion another jury awarded another victim in July 2018. The bad news is that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission recently requested voluminous documents on the emerging talcum powder-asbestos link. Although J&J contends that there in no relationship between these two minerals, an extensive Reuters investigation suggests otherwise. Stock prices fell after SEC officials announced the subpoenas.

In a statement, J&J claimed that “Plaintiffs’ attorneys out for personal financial gain are distorting historical documents and intentionally creating confusion in the courtroom and in the media. This is all a calculated attempt to distract from the fact that thousands of independent tests prove our talc does not contain asbestos or cause cancer. Any suggestion that Johnson & Johnson knew or hid information about the safety of talc is false.”

The Talcum Powder Story

When they are in the ground, talc and asbestos are chemically similar. Both are made up of fibers prized for their usefulness in consumer products. Talc, which is one of the softest minerals in the world, is the leading ingredient in talcum powder. Asbestos was once heralded as a miracle mineral because of its abundance and fireproofing qualities in construction projects.

Asbestos lost its “miracle mineral” status decades ago. The microscopic fibers are incredibly toxic. Just one fiber can cause mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of lung cancer that is latent for years. When patients finally exhibit general symptoms like trouble breathing and chest pressure, doctors frequently misdiagnose this condition. By the time victims really know what is wrong with them, the cancer has already reached a very advanced stage, in most cases.

It seems that talc may follow a similar path. The tiny fibers in talcum powder drift from the skin to the ovaries, where they have been linked to ovarian cancer.

This saga took a sinister turn when a media investigation revealed that asbestos fibers may have entered talcum powder processing plants. Even worse, Johnson & Johnson may have known about this fatal flaw for decades, yet did nothing about it.

Your Claim for Damages

Based on this new evidence, talcum powder damage claims may be much easier to establish in court. That’s because talcum powder lawsuits may involve both types of defective product claims, which are:

  • Design Defect: Some products are unsafe from the word “go.” Arguably, J&J officials steadily encouraged women to use a very dangerous product on a very delicate area of their bodies.
  • Manufacturing Defect: Other times, serious problems emerge during the manufacturing process. Toxic asbestos fibers seeping into talcum powder packages certainly qualifies as a very serious problem.

Producers are liable for defective product damages as a matter of law. Victim/plaintiffs need not prove fault or negligence to receive substantial damages. These damages usually include compensatory and punitive damages.

Contact Tenacious Lawyers

The talcum powder on your neighborhood store shelves may have contained two of the most dangerous ingredients known to mankind. For a free consultation with an experienced Tampa talcum powder attorney, contact The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. Home and hospital visits are available.

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