Imerys Talc America – which supplies Johnson & Johnson with talc for Johnson’s Baby Powder and other products – has reached a settlement on the eve of trial with a woman who alleges she developed mesothelioma cancer from exposure to talcum powder. The lawsuit, filed by California resident Carolyn Weirick, will proceed to jury deliberations with Johnson & Johnson as the sole defendant.
Weirick alleges in her lawsuit that she was diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talcum baby powder products. The lawsuit states that Weirick was a daily user of Johnson & Johnson’s talc brands – including Johnson’s Baby Powder, Shower to Shower, and other products – for about 45 years.
Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally-occurring mineral that was once commonly used for insulation and heat-protection. Because asbestos and talc occur naturally close together when they are mined, lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson and other talc manufacturers have alleged that talcum powder products may be contaminated with asbestos, placing users at risk of mesothelioma cancer and other asbestos-related illnesses.
Weirick filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc in April 2018, alleging that the two companies failed to take adequate measures to ensure the talc powder products they produced were free from asbestos contamination. The lawsuit sought $29.2 million in compensatory and punitive damages against the two companies; terms of Weirick’s settlement with Imerys were not disclosed.
Weirick’s lawsuit is the latest in a series of complaints filed against Johnson & Johnson and other talcum powder manufactures over the link between talc and mesothelioma. In July 2018, the company was ordered to pay $4.69 billion in damages to a group of 22 women who were diagnosed with cancer after using Johnson’s Baby Powder or the company’s other talc products. Johnson & Johnson is still facing more than 9,000 lawsuit across the U.S. over allegations that its talcum powder brands can increase the risk of developing mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, or uterine cancer.
Johnson & Johnson and other talc manufactures have claimed for years that their products are free from asbestos contamination. However, lawyers representing plaintiffs with mesothelioma cancer and other illnesses have alleged that these companies’ methods for testing for asbestos contamination are inadequate. These attorneys have argues that asbestos testing methods used in the talc supplied to J&J by Imerys can only detect whether there is a 1% asbestos contamination. Because asbestos can cause cancer even with small levels of exposure, the attorneys argue that this testing method is inadequate to protect consumers from developing mesothelioma cancer.
Attorneys for Weirick, Johnson & Johnson, and Imerys had already wrapped up their closing arguments in the case when news of the settlement with Imerys was announced. Jurors will now consider whether to award the woman compensatory and punitive damages solely against Johnson & Johnson, although they will still be asked to consider the proportional responsibilities of Imerys and J&J in causing Weirick’ mesothelioma cancer.
If you or a loved one used talcum baby powder products sold by Johnson & Johnson or other companies and were diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. The first step in finding out whether you qualify is to talk with an attorney to find out more about your legal rights.
The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson are representing more than 120 women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder products. In addition to these cases, our attorneys have also filed lawsuits against some of the largest pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers in the world. These lawsuits have included cases involving dangerous drugs, defective medical devices, and other consumer products.
For more information about filing a talcum powder lawsuit and to learn more about whether you may qualify to file a case, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few brief questions to get started.