The United States Supreme Court decided Tuesday to not hear an appeal by consumer goods manufacturer Johnson and Johnson over a multibillion-dollar lawsuit. Plaintiffs who used the company’s talcum powders for personal hygiene developed cancer, as the talc was contaminated with asbestos. An initial award of $5 billion was trimmed down to $2.1 billion for 22 named plaintiffs by an appeals court. The manufacturer claimed the lawsuit combined residents of multiple states and different levels of cancer with varying mitigating circumstances like family history.
Issues with the jurisdictions and handling of the lawsuit would have been the Supreme Court’s main objective if they heard the case, not if the talc powder was tainted. Johnson and Johnson has maintained the stance that the product did not contain asbestos or caused cancer, citing decades of scientific testing and independent evaluations supporting these claims. While government research has not conclusively linked usage of talcum powder to ovarian and other forms of cancer, manufacturers have been successfully sued by those who used their products and developed cancer. The element asbestos naturally appears in nature near talc. When collected, the two will mix and asbestos will appear in manufactured talcum powder. While there are trace levels of asbestos allowed in talc-based products, there is no consensus on how much, if any, is “safe” for consumers. Johnson and Johnson no longer sells talcum powder-based products.
Mesothelioma and cancer diagnoses are devastating. The worst part can be trying to figure out how this happened. When you or someone you love finds out they have cancer or mesothelioma, the right legal counsel can make all the difference. The asbestos attorneys at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler have the expertise to help you get all the compensation and care you deserve. Call us today at 215-569-4000 or contact us online for a free consultation. Based in Philadelphia, we are ready to serve our neighbors in Delaware County, Chester County, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.