Johnson & Johnson, the world’s largest maker of consumer health care products, on Oct. 5 agreed to pay more than $100 million to settle more than 1,000 lawsuits accusing the company’s iconic baby powder and other talc products of causing cancer, according to Bloomberg.

The settlement would cover just a fraction of the 20,000 lawsuits still pending, but it is the first time the company has agreed to settle a large chunk of cases at once rather than offering one-off settlements on the brink of trial.

A spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson said the company was not admitting liability and was still standing behind the safety of its products, adding “Our talc is safe, does not contain asbestos, and does not cause cancer.”

However internal documents revealed that Johnson & Johnson knew decades ago that its talc could contain asbestos. And last year, the company recalled 33,000 bottles of Johnson’s Baby Powder after traces of asbestos were found in the talcum powder.

Asbestos is a known carcinogen primarily linked to mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that develops in the lining of internal organs, like the lungs and abdomen. Some of the lawsuits Johnson & Johnson faces blame exposure to the company’s talc for mesothelioma diagnoses. Others claim that asbestos and/or other impurities in the talc, when used on the genitals for personal hygiene, caused women to develop ovarian cancer.

Johnson & Johnson has been hit with numerous multimillion-dollar verdicts, including a $2.1 billion verdict in 2018. If the company were to settling all outstanding cases, Bloomberg Intelligence predicts it could cost the company upwards of $10 billion.

Talc-ovarian cancer lawyers

Beasley Allen lawyers continue to investigate new cases involving women diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder for feminine hygiene. For additional information on these cases, contact Ted Meadows, Leigh O’Dell or Brittany Scott.

Mesothelioma litigation

Beasley Allen lawyers handle mesothelioma claims. They are looking at cases of industrial, occupational and secondary asbestos exposure resulting in lung cancer or mesothelioma as well as claims of asbestos-related talc products linked to mesothelioma. Charlie Stern in our Toxic Torts Section is the lead attorney working on these types of cases. As an experienced mesothelioma lawyer, Charlie is well equipped to tackle asbestos cases, which are highly complicated and require someone with a true understanding of the facts, medical issues, science and law. Contact us for more information.

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