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Report: Court Documents in Talc Injury Lawsuit Suggest J&J Was Aware of Asbestos in Products

By February 24, 2018Talcum Powder

Talc Injury Lawsuits

Following a report indicating release of decades-old internal memos by a plaintiff in a pending talc injury lawsuit, manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, CNBC indicated its shares dropped five percent. The memos may serve as further proof the company was aware of asbestos exposure risk by talc product users as far back as the 1970s, with one employee reportedly calling the discovery of asbestos at its talc mines a, “business threat.”

Analysts opined the memos could be the catalyst, but it’s not expected to have long-term financial impact for the pharmaceutical giant. talc injury lawyer

Thousands of talc cancer claims pending across the country, and only a few have gone to trial. Bloomberg reports five juries have thus far held the drug maker liable for talc-related injuries – including a $110 million verdict in favor of a Missouri plaintiff who alleged exposure to carcinogens in talc baby powder caused her ovarian cancer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

A talc injury lawsuit being heard now in Middlesex County Superior Court in New Jersey. A 46-year-old man diagnosed with mesothelioma (a latent terminal cancer that develops decades after asbestos exposure) asserts he was regularly exposed to asbestos-containing talc produced by Johnson & Johnson, and that this was the proximate cause of his cancer – a danger about which the company never warned him.

Talc Injury Lawsuit – Failure to Warn Claims

As our Salt Lake City talc injury lawyers can explain, a key cause of action in these product liability cases is about the company’s duty to warn, and failure to do so. In most jurisdictions, product warnings are required if the product is dangerous in some non-obvious way, the manufacturer was aware of that danger and the danger is present when the product is used in a manner intended or foreseeable.

Failure to warn claims can be complex because one must establish not only that the product was dangerous, but that the danger was non-obvious to consumers, that the manufacturer knew about it and, if consumer misuse was an issue, that this misuse was foreseeable.

A skilled product liability attorney is necessary to boosting your chances of full and fair damage recovery.

J&J’s Conflicting Narratives of Talc’s Potential Danger

Johnson & Johnson has publicly insisted its talc-products are asbestos-free and that five decades of monitoring, testing and regulation have affirmed the absence of asbestos in its baby powder. When the internal memos were released, seemingly countering this position, company tried to quell investors by releasing a statement saying concerns over the talc injury lawsuits was “overblown.”

As of the company’s last quarter filing, it faces 5,500 talc injury claims, most of which alleging exposure to dangerous asbestos fibers resulting in mesothelioma or ovarian cancer.

The decades’ old internal memos that recently made headlines concerns correspondence involve concern over two studies conducted in the 1970s – one in 1973 at a talc mine in Vermont and another in 1974 following testing of talc shipped from an Italian supplier. These reports indicate trace amounts of tremolite (a form of asbestos, according to the National Institutes of Health) were discovered at these sites, with one employee calling the discovery a “business threat” that may raise doubts on the purity and safety of talc.

Contact the James Esparza Law Group in Salt Lake City, Utah for more information on filing a talc injury lawsuit. Call (800) 745-4050.

Additional Resources:

Johnson & Johnson falls on report that lawsuits could expose potentially damaging documents, Feb. 5, 2018, By Angelica LaVito, CNBC

J&J Was Alerted to Risk of Asbestos in Talc in ’70s, Files Show, Sept. 21, 2017, By Jet Feeley, Bloomberg

More Blog Entries:

Talcum Powder Lawsuit Update, Oct. 30, 2018, Utah Talc Injury Lawyer Blog