Johnson and Johnson, the pharmaceutical giant, is facing numerous lawsuits between their mesh implants, opioid drugs, and their iconic baby powder. Several thousand women have made claims that the baby powder caused them to develop ovarian cancer. Some men have filed suit as well, claiming that lifetime use of the baby powder caused them to contract mesothelioma, a rare and deadly cancer linked to asbestos exposure. Internal documents indicate that the company expressed concern over asbestos contamination and the health concerns it may pose. Now, the company is facing a criminal probe over asbestos in its baby powder, as Asbestos.com reports.
Johnson & Johnson is being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department to determine if the company misled the public regarding asbestos contamination in its baby powder. A federal grand jury has been convened to determine if the company was aware of the presence of asbestos fibers in the powder.
Johnson & Johnson is the world’s largest manufacturer of talc products. In an annual report to investors, the company reported that it had been subpoenaed in an investigation. The report did not state whether the charges were criminal or civil matters.
Johnson & Johnson maintains that there is no link between its product and cancer, citing 40 years of asbestos, showing that it is free of asbestos.
However, other studies that have been performed have shown trace amounts of the carcinogen.
Some 13,000 lawsuits have been filed, the majority of them on behalf of women who allege they have developed ovarian cancer due to the use of the baby powder. Some of these lawsuits have been successful, with the juries awarding victims more than $5 billion so far.
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