J&J Faces High-Stakes Trial Over 22 Women's Talc Claims


Johnson & Johnson has defended lawsuits alleging its baby powder caused ovarian cancer in women in the past, but the stakes in a trial that began in St. Louis Wednesday are massively higher, as 22 women try to link their illnesses to exposure to asbestos in the company’s talc.

The case is part of a recent wave of trials over allegations the company sold talc in its iconic white Johnson’s Baby Powder bottles knowing it was tainted with asbestos and failed to warn consumers to protect the brand. The company steadfastly maintains there is no asbestos in its baby powder and the product is safe.

“The talc in Johnson’s Baby Powder does not contain asbestos or cause ovarian cancer and we will continue to defend the safety of our product,” Carol Goodrich, a J&J spokeswoman, said in an emailed statement.

While some St. Louis state court juries have found J&J’s talc products were a cause of ovarian cancer, they’ve never focused on the claim that the product was tainted with asbestos and that women unknowingly exposed themselves to that carcinogen by using it.

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