Thousands of cases in the last few years have been filed against Johnson & Johnson over its talc-containing products; one July verdict for $4.7 billion was awarded to twenty-two women who made asbestos-related cancer claims due to talcum powder use, and a $117 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc America in a similar case.

Yesterday, a California jury in a personal injury case against Johnson & Johnson and several mining companies, owned now by Imerys Talc America and its associates, was told that cancer-causing asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder is the reason for a dying woman’s mesothelioma, an incurable disease.  Doctors believe Teresa E. Leavitt will die this year because Johnson & Johnson, et al., didn’t tell consumers that talcum contained asbestos, or replace the talcum with cornstarch, which would have been less toxic.

Like many mothers did in the 1960s and 70s, Ms. Leavitt’s mother used Johnson & Johnson baby powder on her when she was a baby.  As Ms. Leavitt grew up, she used the baby powder in her hair as a dry shampoo and on her face as a makeup foundation.  On Monday, January 7th, Levitt’s attorney told the jury on the first day of trial in Oakland, California, that Johnson & Johnson knew about the asbestos in their product as early as the 1970s, and failed to alert the public.

Johnson & Johnson became concerned about the potential for asbestos in their product when they took a look at their baby powder production process; at the time, they made their baby powder out of ground-up talc rocks mined in Southern Vermont, Korea, and Italy.  Asbestos deposits were found near these rocks, and when the rocks were ground into a fine powder, Leavitt’s attorney argues, the asbestos could not be divided from the talc.

Mesothelioma is caused by inhaling or swallowing microscopic asbestos fibers. Once the asbestos is inhaled, over time, the fibers build up in the lungs and abdomen.  The fibers are sharp, and the body has a hard time removing them.   Mesothelial cells in the protective membranes of the lungs, abdomen, and heart can become inflamed and irritated, and through a series of stages, cancerous cell mutations can occur.  The more exposure to asbestos a person has, the greater the risk of mesothelioma development (or other asbestos-related conditions).

If you have used Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder or Shower to Shower, and believe you may have an asbestos-related cancer claim, contact an attorney.  Don’t make the decision to pursue the claim on your own; call an experienced personal injury attorney who can consult with you about your case.  Our attorneys can investigate the facts surrounding your claim, evaluate your medical records, and determine whether your claim meets the criteria for a lawsuit.

If you believe your or your loved one’s cancer is related to talcum powder use, make a call to an attorney today.  The attorneys at the Law Office of Alex R. Hernandez, Jr., PLLC offer a free, no-obligation consultation and can discuss your legal options as you and to seek compensation for your personal injury.