For decades, people treated talcum powder like a natural and safe bath and body product. Many companies marketed talcum powder as safe for direct use on the human body, and one of the many popular uses included use in infants’ diapers and adults’ undergarments to help combat both moisture and odor.
Sadly, many people who long used talcum powder products have since developed medical issues linked to their bath and beauty habits. All too often, natural deposits of talc occur near asbestos, which means that the minerals mined for these products have sometimes been contaminated with a known carcinogen. Recently, a California trial related to a talcum powdered lawsuit against the health and beauty corporation Johnson & Johnson resulted in an $18.8 million verdict in favor of the plaintiff because of such contamination.
What led to the massive claim?
The plaintiff initiated a lawsuit in 2022 claiming that his mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that usually develops decades later in those who handle asbestos for a living, was a result of his lifelong exposure to talcum powder products. A combination of research connecting asbestos exposure to mesothelioma and information about the company and its products led to a jury ruling in favor of the 24-year-old plaintiff. Although the jury declined to award punitive damages as a punishment to the company, the multi-million-dollar award will potentially help cover healthcare costs and compensate the plaintiff and his family members for the impact his illness will have on the household.
As with multiple other high-value and high-profile lawsuits, this one resulted in Johnson and Johnson declaring that they would appeal the verdict and attempt to reduce the compensation they must pay the plaintiff. There are thousands of other pending lawsuits and numerous large awards related to asbestos contamination claims among talcum powder users.
Those who have historically used talc powders, like baby powder, as well as those who have worked with asbestos, may have grounds to take legal action against the businesses that exposed them to a known human carcinogen. Following successful cases may help those sickened by asbestos exposure find the courage to take legal action against the businesses that put their health at risk.