For decades, people thought of talcum powder as a natural and totally safe product. Companies marketed talcum powder for use on babies, and many people not only applied it to their children to prevent diaper rash but also sprinkled it into their own undergarments for odor and moisture control.
On its own, talcum powder may be harmless, but the problem is that talcum deposits often occur in close proximity to asbestos deposits in the earth. Asbestos-contaminated talcum powder has an association with cancers, including ovarian cancer.
An increasing number of otherwise healthy individuals diagnosed with deadly cancers have started pushing back against companies that manufacture talcum powder by filing lawsuits.
After a multibillion-dollar lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson appealed the verdict. The jury initially found in favor of a group of plaintiffs and ordered over four billion dollars in damages. Early appeal efforts by Johnson & Johnson were successful at excluding two of the plaintiffs from the case, effectively dropping the amount they must pay the victims to about two billion dollars.
Johnson & Johnson still did not want to be responsible for that amount, so they continued to appeal. They attempted to take the case to the highest court in the land, and the Supreme Court declined to hear their case. That means that the ruling in the case will stand.
The ruling could serve as a crucial precedent in future talcum powder cases because the jury agreed that not only does contaminated talcum powder cause cancer, but Johnson & Johnson knowingly distributed contaminated talcum powder to people, damaging their health. Those affected by dangerous talcum powder may have stronger cases, thanks to the Supreme Court’s inaction on this case.
If you or your loved one suffered injuries because of talcum powder, it may be time to speak with an attorney about your legal options.