Johnson & Johnson will discontinue sales of its iconic talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder in the United States and Canada due to slumping sales, mounting lawsuits, and a tinged reputation for continuing to sell the product despite concerns that it may cause cancer.
Beasley Allen has been privileged to represent thousands of women who developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson talcum powder on their genitals for feminine hygiene. Ted Meadows, who heads up Beasley Allen’s Talc Litigation team, had this to say:
“By removing Johnson’s Baby Powder from the market, J&J did today what they should have done decades ago. Now J&J should accept responsibility for the thousands of women who are suffering or who have died as a result of ovarian cancer caused by their talcum powder products.
“Despite this news affecting the North American market, it is troubling that J&J’s announcement calls for continuing sales of its Baby Powder in other countries.
“The U.S. has the best consumer protection in the world through our jury system. It is unfortunate that women and families in other countries will continue to face the devastating diagnosis of ovarian cancer because J&J refuses to take the same action without juries to force much-needed responsibility.
“We plan to continue bringing these claims before juries in courts across the nation.”
Johnson & Johnson said in its announcement that the decision to stop selling the product was “in large part to changes in consumer habits and fueled by misinformation around the safety of the product and a constant barrage of litigation advertising.”
Johnson’s Baby Powder was introduced in 1893 and touted as being safe enough for babies. The company would later market the talc for women to use on their genitals for freshness. In 2013, Deanne Berg filed a lawsuit against the consumer health care giant, alleging the company’s talcum powder contained harmful impurities and that genital use of talcum powder caused her to develop ovarian cancer. A jury found Johnson & Johnson failed to warn consumers but didn’t deliver any damages. The case created a firestorm.
Since then, Johnson & Johnson has been hit with billions of dollars in actual and punitive damages from juries who determined their talc-based products are causing women to develop ovarian cancer. In some cases, lawsuits have accused Johnson & Johnson of knowing its talc could become contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen, but the company failed to warn consumers. The company has also faced lawsuits from consumers who claim exposure to the talcum powder caused them to develop mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
Last year, Johnson & Johnson recalled about 33,000 bottles of its baby powder in the United States after testing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found asbestos in some samples of the talcum powder.
TIME – Johnson & Johnson Ending Sale of Talcum Powder Products in the U.S.
Bloomberg – J&J’s Baby Powder Switch Sets an End Date for Legal Liability
Fair Warning – Engulfed in Lawsuits, Johnson & Johnson to Halt North American Sales of Talc-Based Johnson’s Baby Powder
Law360 – J&J To Stop Talc Sales In North America
The Wall Street Journal – Johnson & Johnson to Stop Selling Talcum Baby Powder in U.S., Canada
Bloomberg Law – Johnson & Johnson Discontinues Talc Powder in U.S., Canada
VIDEO: Alabama News Network – J&J decision to pull talc-based baby powder ‘a step in the right direction’
VIDEO: WSFA-TV – Talc-based baby powder to be pulled from the market by J&J
CNBC – Johnson & Johnson discontinues talc-based baby powder in US and Canada
Reuters – Johnson & Johnson to stop selling talc-based baby powder in U.S. and Canada