At the heart of the 14,000-plus lawsuits charging Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder of causing malignant mesothelioma and ovarian cancer is the fact that the company apparently knew that their product carried a cancer risk, but did nothing to warn consumers of the hazards of using it. Many of the plaintiffs who have already won multi-million dollar claims against the company have stated simply that had they known that the product could have gotten them sick, they wouldn’t have used it. Now a judge in a Los Angeles federal court will hear testimony centering on whether the company should be forced to put a cancer warning on the iconic product going forward.
California law requires warning labels on carcinogenic products
The question of whether Johnson & Johnson needs to put a product warning on its talc products centers on the claims of mesothelioma victims that their product contains asbestos, and on California’s Proposition 65 law. That law makes it necessary for products known to contain carcinogens to warn the public of dangers via warning labels.
The original case named only Johnson & Johnson as a defendant, but because the company’s Shower to Shower talc powder is now sold by another company the plaintiffs asked to refile the suit to include them. Johnson & Johnson is fighting this move, pushing for the case to be heard now.
Johnson & Johnson’s wants to avoid adding defendants
It may seem strange that the consumer giant would prefer to have the lawsuit against them heard now instead of waiting until there are more defendants to join in the fight, but legal experts say that there’s good reason for them to do so. The reason they don’t want the lawsuit dropped now is that more defendants being included means more evidence of asbestos being present in the products, thus strengthening the case that talc-based products can lead to mesothelioma ad ovarian cancer.
According to Johnson & Johnson, they don’t want the talc powder lawsuit dismissed because they can present strong evidence that there is no asbestos in its talc supply. They also say that the samples presented by the plaintiffs, which do contain asbestos, do not contain enough to warrant a Proposition 65 warning label.
Introducing both the new manufacturer of Shower to Shower and Claire’s Store Inc., which has tested positive for asbestos, changes the calculation and puts Johnson & Johnson’s of greater risk of being lumped together with these other companies and having to place a warning label on their baby powder product.
Mesothelioma victims who believe that they have been sickened by exposure to asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder will be watching the case with great interest. If you need information on how use of talc-based products can cause mesothelioma and ovarian cancer, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.