More than 16,000 plaintiffs have filed lawsuits against personal care giant Johnson & Johnson over the past several years, claiming that the company’s signature talc-based Baby Powder caused them to develop ovarian cancer. Although Johnson & Johnson led a concerted effort to bar these plaintiffs’ expert witnesses from testifying in court, a New Jersey judge recently ruled that the lawsuits can proceed.

This ruling represents a major setback for Johnson & Johnson, but a significant win for the victims who have been affected by this product. The decision came directly from U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson, who has been tasked with overseeing the multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Johnson & Johnson in this matter.

A Brief Overview: Asbestos and Talc

Because talc and asbestos occur in close proximity underground, the two minerals may become mixed during the talc mining process. However, since asbestos is a carcinogen and the only known cause of mesothelioma – an incurable, aggressive form of cancer – and has been shown to cause ovarian cancer, talc mining companies and product manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that their talc is free of this dangerous mineral. This is especially true of Johnson & Johnson, a company that profited by telling female consumers that Baby Powder was safe to use on genital areas and for other intimate cosmetic purposes.

While cosmetic products do not need to be reviewed by the FDA before sale, the agency has recently increased regulatory testing for talc-based products due to cancer concerns. Motivated by a damning Reuters investigation and a $4.69 billion talc lawsuit judgment against Johnson & Johnson in July 2019, the FDA took a closer look at the company’s Baby Powder product in October 2019 and discovered that some batches do contain asbestos fibers, announcing a voluntary recall.

Several new peer-reviewed studies have further confirmed the link between cosmetic talc and ovarian cancer, including a January 2020 study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and a March 2020 case study in the American Journal of Internal Medicine.

Trial-Tested Representation in Talc Lawsuits

At The Ferraro Law Firm, we’ve spent almost four decades fighting on behalf of injury victims in high-stakes product liability cases, from mesothelioma claims to talc powder lawsuits. Based in Florida, our experienced trial attorneys and litigators are currently taking on mesothelioma and ovarian cancer lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and other talc product manufacturers. By building cases around strong expert testimony and tireless work ethic, our team has secured numerous multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements over the years – and we’re committed to helping our clients get justice after a life-threatening cancer diagnosis.

If you have questions about your rights, you should not hesitate to discuss your case with our legal team.