Johnson & Johnson has been a trusted name in cosmetics and household products for decades. However, in recent years, they have come under fire for lawsuits that suggest their talcum powder products caused cancer.
The company isn’t just paying with a blow to their reputation, either. Earlier this year, a woman in California won $29 million in a product liability lawsuit against the brand.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer and have used Johnson & Johnson products in the past, it’s important to learn about this lawsuit and how you could possibly be entitled to compensation for damages related to your diagnosis.
Before discussing the case, it’s important to know what products you can use and what you should stay away from.
Is Baby Powder Dangerous?
The products under fire contain Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder. Talcum powder and baby powder are pretty simple products, and talc on its own is not dangerous. It is a natural ingredient containing oxygen, silicon, and magnesium, and ingesting talc alone will not cause ovarian cancer.
On the other hand, when talc becomes talcum powder, naturally occuring minerals and ingredients may slip into the mix. Asbestos is one of those naturally occuring minerals.
You’ve probably heard of asbestos as a known carcinogen, linked to a number of different cancers. Before Johnson & Johnson’s trouble, you might have heard about it watching an HGTV home improvement show, because it is most commonly known to be found in building materials and mining sites.
Talcum powder that contains asbestos is especially dangerous, particularly when inhaled or used around the genitals, and until the 1970’s not much was known about asbestos in cosmetic products at all.
It wasn’t until 1976 that The Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrances Association took action for the first time to prevent asbestos from appearing in talc powder and similar products. As a consequence, many people exposed to asbestos before then didn’t know they had a higher risk of developing cancers, and they were diagnosed many years later.
Asbestos in Johnson & Johnson Products Led to Woman’s Mesothelioma
…or so says the jury in California.
In January 2019, this case was brought to trial. The plaintiff claimed that she used Johnson & Johnson products in the 1960s and 1970s. In 2017, the plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma (a type of lung cancer).
How did she win the case?
She argued that Johnson & Johnson did not properly disclose the risks that came with using talcum powder when they were used by the plaintiff. This negligence, according to the jury, puts the company at fault for the damages she incurred.
Those damages, including coverage of medical treatments, costs of emotional distress, and other expenses related to the diagnosis, justify the $29 million settlement.
This case is one of at least a dozen that J&J will face this year. In recent years, they have lost a number of product liability cases like this one, but some they have also won.
If you think your cancer diagnosis might have something to do with talcum powder or another product with asbestos, will you be able to fight back in court?
Would This Case Hold Up in Florida?
If you want to bring up any product liability case in Florida, you will have to do so for one of three reasons:
If the designer of the product knowingly included potentially harmful elements while being used as it was intended, it would be classified as a design defect.
Manufacturing defects may be present if the product was designed to be safe, but the end product was not safe for users due to how it was manufactured.
Failure to Warn
If there are risks in using a product, but the manufacturers don’t accurately or effectively include them in a written warning, they may be held liable.
The $29 million lawsuit could certainly hold water if we are only considering these elements of product liability. Unfortunately, even if you can link a cancer diagnosis back to asbestos-laden products from the 60s and 70s, you might not be able to take this case to a Florida court.
The Importance of Florida’s Statute of Limitations in Defective Product Suits
Florida has statutes of limitation, or time limits, on product liability cases. You have four years from the time you discovered an injury to file a product liability suit.
Further, if you suffered the death of a loved one due to cancer-ridden talcum powder or other defective products, you have two years after the date of their death to file.
If your circumstances meet these requirements, it may be time to consider filing suit.
A knowledgeable legal professional can help you file the proper paperwork, ask for the right amount of compensation, and begin gathering evidence that will help you win your case.
About the Author:
Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.
Car accidents can happen anywhere. Especially where you least expect it. Parking lots, driveways, parking garages, and drive-thrus are well-known for accident scenes. Even your own living room. On Wednesday, August 21st, an accident involving two cars ended up crashing into a Miami Gardens home. One of the drivers was air lifted to a [..]
Dade and Broward county roads are about to become a bit more confusing and request drivers to be more attentive to the road and the scheduled construction plans on the 826 Palmetto Expressway and I-75 throughout August 2019, while making room for a new Express Lane on the 826 Palmetto Expressway. As auto accident attorneys [..]
July 4th tends to evoke backyard barbecues, poolside cocktails, and fireworks at dusk. We usually think of spending this holiday with family, and staying close to home. On the contrary, AAA pegs the fourth as one of their busiest days. Did you know the average distance traveled on July 4th is 617 miles? What’s more, [..]
When most of us think about Fourth of July safety, we think about fireworks. Although improper use of fireworks can cause serious injuries, there’s a less obvious risk: food poisoning. Most Fourth of July celebrations involve outdoor gatherings, with perishable food that’s often brought in by a number of people, some of whom may not [..]
Summer is upon us, and it’s peak swimming pool season in the sunshine state. Although swimming is a great way to cool off and get some exercise, it can also be dangerous. Statistics show three children die every day from swimming pool accidents, and many more people sustain serious injuries. In many cases, these tragic [..]
Memorial Day offers a time to celebrate loved ones lost. It also signals the beginning of another Florida summer which often means road trip! In either case, we all find a reason and a way to cut loose. Unfortunately, these celebrations also lead to an uptick in car accidents. The primary causes? More cars on [..]
Johnson & Johnson has been a trusted name in cosmetics and household products for decades. However, in recent years, they have come under fire for lawsuits that suggest their talcum powder products caused cancer. The company isn’t just paying with a blow to their reputation, either. Earlier this year, a woman in California won $29 [..]
Every summer, Floridians look forward to that much needed break that summer camp provides: the kids to get away from the daily grind of the school year, and you to get a little breathing room from them. Exactly how much of a break would it be, though, if you’re still holding your breath in anticipation [..]
Temperatures are rising and a lot of long weekends are just around the corner. Whether you’re planning to hop in your boat for Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or other summer holidays, it’s important to stay safe this season. Boating accidents do happen here in Florida, and many can be fatal. In 2017, 658 [..]
In the height of prom season, across the country, local police and first responders work with surrounding schools, survivors, and other drunk driving prevention organizations to reenact realistic reminders of why teens in their communities shouldn’t drink and drive. One survivor in Illinois recounted his experience of being ejected through a car window after plowing [..]
Bars and advertisements for alcoholic products often encourage people to “drink responsibly,” but in some cases, the establishments or bartenders serving these drinks may be at least partially liable for a patron’s alcohol-related injury or death. Under certain circumstances, bars can—and should—be held responsible for over-serving patrons. Many states have “dram shop” laws (named [..]
Summertime is quickly approaching, which means barbecues, family vacations, and a lot of days sitting by the pool. While you and your loved ones enjoy the hot summer weather and cool water, it is important to keep yourself safe. In this post we will be focusing on swimming pool injuries and how to prevent them. [..]
The death of a loved one is traumatic and devastating experience— regardless of the cause. However, the ordeal can be especially upsetting if the death could have been avoided had it not been for the negligent actions of another. In Florida, surviving family members and loved ones may be able to recover compensation for [..]
Florida’s summer is well underway, and the hot weather is a perfect excuse to get out on the water. With close to 900,000 registered vessels in the state, chances are that you or someone you know owns a boat and is planning to use it this season. Getting out on a lake or the ocean [..]
Right now, all Florida drivers are required to have car insurance coverage that pays personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, but that may come to an end in 2019 if some lawmakers get their way. Florida currently operates under a “no-fault” system when it comes to paying insurance claims after a car accident. If a [..]
When you become a parent, every little decision regarding your child’s safety and development can become a hot debate. We’re not going to tell you how to raise your child, but we do have one piece of advice backed up with statistics from the AAP and NHTSA. When you are driving with your child, [..]
It’s not every day that you get into an accident and need to file a personal injury protection (PIP) suit. This type of litigation may be confusing to many, especially since PIP laws are constantly being debated and changed in Florida. However, it is possible for you to get through this process and receive [..]
What are your chances of getting hit by someone driving a rental car in Florida? Every year, the state of Florida has 15 million active drivers on its many roads and highways. About 250,000 drivers end up in car crashes annually in Florida. Since almost 85 million visitors come to enjoy Florida every year, [..]
Image: http://pixabay.com/en/dog-man-attacking-canine-training-78117/ When Pets Attack, They Can Cause Serious or Even Fatal Injuries Most people like dogs. How can you resist those adoring eyes, the wagging tail, and the warm, fuzzy head that seems to appear in your lap just when you’re feeling your lowest? So many Americans like dogs, in fact, that [..]
Car accidents can result in tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, and car repairs. How is it decided who will have to pay for these damages and bills? In Florida, it usually starts with personal injury protection (PIP). If you experience damages that add up to less than [..]