HOUSTON – Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) is once again in the spotlight after a prestigious national news agency uncovered how company executives failed to warn consumers about the safety of its products, citing internal company documents from as far back as 1971. The article entitled “Johnson & Johnson Knew for Decades That Asbestos Lurked in its Baby Powder” showed that for nearly three decades, Johnson & Johnson knew that its talcum products contained the cancer-causing mineral, asbestos. The story was based on the news organization’s review of court documents and internal company memos.
“What’s appalling to us is the company’s lack of acknowledgment and ownership to a product they created and knew could cause harm,” said firm founder Mark Lanier.
Mr. Lanier was featured in both the Reuters expose and in a The New York Times article discussing the link between talcum products and asbestos.
In July 2018, The Lanier Law Firm helped secure a $4.69 billion verdict on behalf of 22 women who alleged that decades of daily use of Johnson & Johnson’s asbestos-laden talcum powder products caused their ovarian cancer. Jurors heard evidence that Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products have been laced with asbestos for decades, despite denials the company made to the federal Food and Drug Administration and others.
While there have been other trials in which juries have determined that talc products contained asbestos and caused mesothelioma cancer, the trial in St. Louis marked the first talc/asbestos-induced ovarian cancer verdict in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, there are approximately 22,200 new cases of ovarian cancer each year.
Prior to the Missouri verdict, Johnson & Johnson had sought to resist most of the legal challenges that connected ovarian cancer to asbestos-laced talcum powder by claiming that plaintiffs were relying on flawed or incomplete science. However, much of the damaging evidence presented at trial came from the company’s own files.
“We applaud Reuters for its findings and will continue to fight this cause on behalf of all victims who have been affected by this dangerous product,” adds Mr. Lanier.
The Lanier Law Firm has offices in Houston, New York, Los Angeles and Oklahoma City. For close to 30 years, the firm has worked tirelessly to find unique solutions to its clients’ unique needs. The firm is composed of more than 60 skilled attorneys, practicing in a broad array of areas, including business fraud, asbestos exposure, personal injury, commercial litigation, and others.