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Woman awarded $29 million in Johnson & Johnson baby powder cancer case

cancerJohnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $29 million after a California jury determined that its baby powder contributed substantially to a woman’s mesothelioma.

The immensely popular product, which has been widely used on babies and adults alike for decades, is the target of more than 13,000 similar lawsuits that have been filed against the company. Last year, a Los Angeles woman was awarded $25.7 million after a jury agreed the baby powder caused her cancer, while 22 Missouri women were awarded $4.69 billion in a similar suit after claiming using the powder in their genital area caused ovarian cancer.

In the latest case, Teresa Leavitt was awarded $24.4 million after developing mesothelioma, a cancer affecting the tissue lining the lungs and other organs, while her husband was awarded $5 million. The award covered pain and suffering, medical costs, and lost wages. The award is only compensatory; the jury decided not to award punitive damages even though they found Johnson & Johnson responsible for 98 percent of the woman’s damages.

Leavitt was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2017, and she had used the product for more than 30 years. Her complaint said that the company has known about the asbestos concerns in talcum powder since the early 1900s and has possessed scientific and medical data illustrating its health hazards.

In a regulatory filing last month, J&J said it received subpoenas for more details about the dangerous products from the SEC and the Justice Department. This week, an epidemiologist testified before the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy that talc powder causes a significant increase in the risk of cancer.

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Many of the people suing the company argue that the talc in the baby powder is contaminated with asbestos – something they’ve shown Johnson & Johnson has known about for decades and covered up.

Internal documents obtained by Reuters showed that three tests carried out at separate labs in the 1970s showed Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder contained asbestos, but they failed to report it to the FDA and continued to sell the powder. According to the Reuters report, the company’s executives, along with scientists, lawyers, doctors and mine managers, have known for decades that the powder is toxic, yet they did nothing – and they even fought against regulators’ efforts to limit the levels of asbestos in talc products.

Nevertheless, the company insists its products don’t contain asbestos. The chemical was banned from all consumer talc products in the 1970s, although it’s important to keep in mind that asbestos has a long latency period, with mesothelioma diagnosis coming 20 years or longer after initial exposure. Even if today’s products are safe – and there’s no guarantee that they are – the talc has been sold and used for many years.

The company said in a statement that it was disappointed by the verdict and planned to appeal it. Past appeals have had mixed success, and the company claims its legal losses stem from juror confusion, overzealous lawyers, and what it deems “junk” science.

Stay away from talc products

It’s best to avoid talc products entirely given the questions about their safety. It’s important to read labels carefully as it’s used in more than 2,000 personal care and beauty products. Last year, youth-oriented retailer Claire’s stopped selling products with talc and destroyed its existing stock after the FDA warned it had found asbestos in some of its products.

Using these products simply isn’t worth the risk. Scrutinize ingredient labels, and stick to natural products wherever possible – especially when it comes to products you use daily and/or on babies. Depending on your intended purpose, some safer alternatives include organic oat powder, organic cornstarch, and baking soda.

While it’s good to see companies being held accountable for deceiving and poisoning the public, it’s far too late for the many people who have already developed cancer and died from using these products.

See Products.news for more breaking news stories about consumer products and their health risks.

Sources for this article include:

DailyWire.com

Reuters.com

NYTimes.com

Originally posted: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-17-woman-awarded-29-million-in-johnson-johnson-cancer-case.html
Author: 

Bombshell report shows Johnson & Johnson talc baby powder products are contaminated with cancer-causing asbestos – and the company has known for nearly 50 years

Baby-PowderJohnson & Johnson (J&J), an iconic household name in the United States, is facing a multitude of lawsuits after it was revealed that the company’s talc baby powder products are contaminated with cancer-causing asbestos – a fact that the company has known about since at least the early 1970s, it turns out.

Internal company documents recently obtained by Reuters and published as a comprehensive report show that J&J had conducted at least three different tests at three separate labs between 1972 and 1975 on its baby powder, all of which showed that it contained asbestos. But J&J failed to report this pertinent information to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and has continued to sell its baby powder as “safe.”

Not only has J&J continued to claim all these years that its baby powder is perfectly safe, but it has even gone so far as to claim that it’s “asbestos-free” – which is a flat-out lie. Meanwhile, young children all across the country have been coming down with asbestos-related cancers like mesothelioma that, prior to this report’s release, couldn’t be traced.

J&J lied, refused to release internal documents proving that its baby powder causes cancer

But now the truth has come out, and people like Darlene Coker, a victim of J&J’s cruel deception, are seeking justice. The 52-year-old mother of two daughters struggles to breathe and suffers crippling pain on a daily basis, which she attributes to the “poisonous talc” that both she and her daughters were exposed to throughout much of her life.

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When Coker tried to sue J&J back in 1999, having put two and two together on her own prior to this report’s release, J&J of course denied the claims. The company also refused to hand over the now-revealed test results showing that its baby powder contained asbestos, so Coker was forced to drop the lawsuit as she lacked the proof she needed.

Two decades later, however, and Coker has finally obtained the proof she needs – and it’s just the beginning for J&J, which is now facing some 11,700 lawsuits from children and parents who developed cancer after being exposed to J&J baby powder.

J&J interfered with regulatory process, tried to keep secret the full truth about its carcinogenic baby powder

Reuters found that J&J company executives, mine managers, scientists, doctors, and lawyers have all known for decades that J&J baby powder is toxic, but failed to report any of this either to regulators or to the public. What’s worse is they actually fought against efforts by regulators to limit asbestos levels in talc products, further deceiving the public and exposing untold millions of babies to cancer-causing poisons.

And it’s hardly the first time that J&J has engaged in widespread deception, as we reported back in 2013 that J&J was forced to pay $2.2 billion in damages for making false claims about its other products, including deadly prescription drugs that it illicitly peddled to nursing homes.

Concerning J&J’s baby powder, there’s evidence to suggest that the company knew about asbestos-contaminated talc even before 1972 – going back as far as 1957 when reports by a consulting lab showed that it contained fibrous and “acicular,” or needle-like, tremolite, which is one of the six naturally-occurring minerals that are classified as asbestos.

“When people really understand what’s going on, I think it increases J&J’s exposure a thousand-fold,” says Mark Lanier, a lawyer representing another woman who’s suing J&J over its cancer-causing baby powder.

Be sure to read the full report by Reuters about this J&J baby powder scandal and its tremendous fallout at this link.

You can also read more news like this Corruption.news.

Sources for this article include:

Reuters.com

NaturalNews.com

Originally posted: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-13-johnson-johnson-talc-baby-powder-products-contaminated-with-cancer-causing-asbestos.html
Author: 

Jury: Johnson & Johnson Failed To Warn of Talc Powder-Cancer Risk

Johnson and johnsonOn May 2, Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a U.S. jury to pay $55 million to a woman who had alleged the company’s talcum-powder products, which she had used for feminine hygiene, caused her ovarian cancer. It is the 2nd straight time the company lost a verdict.

Johnson & Johnson is currently facing about 1,200 lawsuits accusing it of failing to warn consumers about the cancer risks associated with its talc-based products.

The first time the healthcare products company lost a verdict was in February when a jury ordered J&J to pay $72 million in damages to the family of an Alabama woman who died from ovarian cancer allegedly caused by using Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and other projects that contained talc for feminine hygiene.

In the current case, jurors deliberated for about a day following a 3-week trial in Missouri state court. They decided to award the plaintiff, Gloria Ristesund, $5 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages.

The company plans to appeal, said Carol Goodrich, a Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman, and will continue to defend its talc-containing products.

Ristesund testified that she had used Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products on her genitals for decades. Her lawyers stated that Ristesund was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and had to undergo a hysterectomy and related surgeries. Fortunately, her cancer is now in remission. [1]

The latest verdict is more significant because it appeared that the facts backed Johnson & Johnson’s claims that its talc-based products did not cause Ristesund’s cancer. Evidence in the case showed Ristesund had suffered from endometriosis and was overweight, both conditions that have been linked to ovarian cancer. Furthermore, Ristesund’s cancer has not returned since undergoing surgery in 2011. Jurors are sometimes more sympathetic towards victims who are terminally ill, or who have died.

The 9 women and 3 men on the jury found Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Cos., Inc, guilty of negligence and failure to warn about the risks of using talc-based products on the genitals for personal hygiene. However, the jury dismissed an additional claim that the companies had conspired to provide misleading scientific and medical information. J&J’s co-defendant and talc supplier, Imerys Talc America, Inc., was absolved of liability, as it also was in the 1st case. [2]

One jury in the $55 million case stated that Johnson & Johnson’s internal memos “pretty much sealed my opinion.” He added:

“They tried to cover up and influence the boards that regulate cosmetics. They could have at least put a warning label on the box but they didn’t. They did nothing.”

A Little Bit About Talc

Talc is a mineral mined in China that is composed of magnesium and silicon. It has long been associated with lung cancer in workers who mine the substance, but it’s not clear if talc itself causes lung cancer. This is because pure talc sometimes contains asbestos, as the 2 are mined in close proximity of each other.

As a powder, talc effectively absorbs moisture and reduces friction. Women often apply talcum powder to their genitals and to sanitary pads for these reasons. A 2016 study published in Epidemiology showed a correlation between increased risk of ovarian cancer in women who regularly used talc-based powder on their genitals.

For that study, researchers asked 2,041 women with ovarian cancer and 2,100 similar women without ovarian cancer about their talcum powder use. Those who said they regularly applied talc to the genital area, feminine products, and underwear were at 33% increased risk of ovarian cancer. However, the women who used talc were also “more likely to be older, heavier, asthma sufferers, and regular analgesic users.”

The link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer dates back to 1960’s, with the first case–control study finding a link in 1982. This was when research author Dr. Cramer, head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Epidemiology Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, uncovered the link and called for warning labels on talc products. Numerous studies suggesting a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer followed.

The Huffington Post reports:

  • “In 1971 study conducted conducted by Dr. W.J. Henderson and others in Cardiff, Wales, suggested an association between talc and ovarian cancer.

  • In 1982, the first epidemiologic study was performed on talc powder use in the female genital area. Conducted by Dr. Daniel Cramer and others, the study found a 92% increased risk in ovarian cancer with women who reported genital talc use.
  • Since then, there have been approximately 22 additional epidemiologic studies providing data regarding the association of talc and ovarian cancer. Nearly all of these studies have reported an elevated risk for ovarian cancer associated with genital talc use in women.
  • In 1993, the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) published a study on the toxicity of non-asbestiform talc and found clear evidence of carcinogenic activity. Talc was found to be a carcinogen, with or without the presence of asbestos-like fibers.”

Sources:

[1] Reuters

[2] Salon
Author: JULIE FIDLER
Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/jury-company-failed-to-warn-of-talc-cancer-risk-73480/#ixzz48p8CSBls
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BREAKING: Johnson & Johnson slammed with $72 MILLION verdict for causing ovarian cancer in Missouri woman

Pink-Ribbon-CancerA Missouri jury has ordered pharmaceutical and health giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to pay $72 million in damages to the family of a woman who died of ovarian cancer after using the company’s talc-based baby powder for decades. The jury found that J&J was aware of research linking talc to cancer, but deliberately chose to cover it up rather than warning consumers.

It is the first time a U.S. jury has awarded damages in a case claiming health effects of using talc.

“This case clearly was a bellwether and clearly the jury has seen the evidence and found it compelling,” said law professor Nora Freeman Engstrom of Stanford University. “The jury was distressed by the company’s conduct.”

Company knew about risks for decades

Researchers remain split on the exact nature of the connection between talc and cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies talc as a “possible” carcinogen.

Two strong meta-analyses, however, have suggested serious health risks for women regularly exposed to talc. A 2003 review of 16 studies conducted on a total of 12,000 women, found that regular talc use caused ovarian cancer risk to increase by about one-third. A 2013 review of studies on a total of 18,000 women, found a similar risk increase, but only for talc applied directly to the genital region.

The family of Jackie Fox of Birmingham, Ala., sued J&J, alleging that the company knew of the risks of talc for decades. After five days of deliberation, the jury agreed, finding the company “guilty of negligence, failure to warn and conspiracy to conceal the risks of its products.”

According to Alexandra Scranton, director of science and research at Women’s Voices for the Earth, the case shows how far companies will go to sell their products, even if they are harming people. J&J sought to take advantage of the scientific uncertainty around talc, Scranton said. Rather than taking the “clearly more ethical role, to take a precautionary approach,” she said, the company “poured money over years into defending talc.”

A juror named Jerome Kendrick said that he voted for the guilty verdict largely based on the internal J&J memos presented as evidence. These memos showed, he said, that J&J “tried to cover up [the risks of talc] and influence the boards that regulate cosmetics.”

Same tactics as big tobacco

According to co-lead attorney Jim Onder, the documents showed that J&J had been preparing to be sued over talc health risks for 30 years.

One of the memos was written to J&J by a medical consultant in 1997. The consultant warns that “anybody who denies [the] risks” between genital use of talc and ovarian cancer will eventually come to be seen as similar to tobacco companies who continued to insist that there was no link between smoking and cancer. Both cases, the consultant says, consist of “denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary.”

Another internal document complains that use of talc powder is decreasing as more people become aware of the health risks. The document lays out a strategy to counter this decrease by marketing more aggressively to blacks and Latinos, the demographics that use more talcum powder.

Fox was black.

The jury ordered J&J to pay $10 million in damages to Fox’s family, and another $62 in punitive damages. About half of the latter amount will go toward the Missouri Crime Victim Compensation Fund.

J&J is expected to appeal the decision. Even if it loses the appeal, Freeman Engstrom expects the amount it pays to end up substantially lower than $72 million.

“Big jury verdicts do tend to be reined in during the course of the appellate process and I expect that to be the case here,” she said.

There are more than 1,000 similar lawsuits pending against J&J, with more expected to be filed.

Sources for this article include:

BBC.com

CommonDreams.org

Science.NaturalNews.com

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/053112_Johnson_&_talc_ovarian_cancer.html#ixzz41HHtS0GK

Author: David Gutierrez