Consumer giant Johnson & Johnson is facing over 15,000 lawsuits accusing their iconic baby powder product of being contaminated with asbestos and causing either malignant mesothelioma or ovarian cancer. Many of these cases have already been heard, and without fail the company’s defense has consistently rested on a single argument: that their product does not contain asbestos and that asbestos has never been identified in their product by anybody other than plaintiffs’ experts. So when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported earlier this year that they had identified asbestos in a bottle of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder purchased in 2018, legal experts wondered what the company’s next step would be.
The first thing that Johnson & Johnson did in response to the FDA’s announcement was to issue a voluntary recall of 33,000 bottles of the product. At the same time they began casting doubt about the accuracy of the FDA’s results, questioning where the sample came from as well as their testing procedure. They also hired independent laboratories to conduct tests on the contents of the same bottle tested by the FDA. Now they have come forward claiming that the FDA got it wrong and have returned to their previous defense, arguing that their product could not cause an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma because it does not contain asbestos.
In a statement issued by the company, Johnson & Johnson indicated that two independent labs had conducted 155 tests on the product, with none indicating the presence of any of the carcinogenic fibers that lead to mesothelioma. They accused the government agency of either testing a contaminated sample or of issuing a report that was based on an analyst error. Though the FDA has not directly responded to this latest announcement, they did issue a statement earlier when the company questioned their results, saying that they stand by their original findings. The question now will rest with jurors, who will undoubtedly be informed of the FDA’s findings in every mesothelioma lawsuit going forward.
Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases are life changing and in most cases could have been prevented had companies acted more responsibly. For information about how we can help you get the compensation you deserve to help yourself and your family deal with this tragic diagnosis, contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.