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Products liability suit: Over $70 million to victim's family


Scientific evidence regarding the safety of consumer products is usually taken seriously. When the use of certain products is linked to health afflictions, for instance, a product recall may be issued or the product may be reformulated to align with safety standards. At times, though, product manufacturers ignore the evidence that links their product with danger to those who use it. In such situations, products liability litigation is not uncommon and often makes headlines.

Many residents of Camden County have likely used Johnson & Johnson brand products at some point in their lives. However, the ingredient talc, which is still found in some versions of Johnson's products, has reportedly been linked to cancer in humans. Specifically, studies reaching back to the 1970s suggest that when used on a person's genital area, the risk for ovarian cancer in women is increased. A lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson recently concluded, with a jury awarding over $70 million to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer. The suit alleged the company deliberately ignored scientific evidence linking genital talcum powder use with cancer.

The lawsuit mentions that Johnson & Johnson assisted in the formation of the Talc Interested Party Task Force, a group whose purpose was to defend talc use in the face of growing evidence against it. In the mid-1990s, many condom manufacturers stopped using talc in their products, while the World Health Organization noted there is limited evidence that supports a link between talc exposure and cancer. Finally, one supplier of talc to Johnson & Johnson even began issuing a warning label on the product it supplied.

In courts in both New Jersey and Missouri, there are over 1,000 cases being pursued against Johnson & Johnson. These cases serve as an unfortunate reminder that even trusted, well-known brands can sell defective products or exhibit a failure to warn regarding adverse implications of product use. Those who have been affected by defective consumer products can find out more from a New Jersey products liability attorney.

Source: Consumerist, "Jury Awards $72 Million In Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuit," Chris Morran, Feb. 24, 2016

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