As worries about Baby Powder's safety mounted, J&J focused its pitches on minority, overweight women
LOS ANGELES - Pressure was mounting on Johnson & Johnson and its signature Baby Powder.
In 2006, an arm of the World Health Organization began classifying cosmetic talc such as Baby Powder as “possibly carcinogenic” when women used it as a genital antiperspirant and deodorant, as many had been doing for years. Talc supplier Luzenac America Inc started including that information on its shipments to J&J and other customers.
J&J, meanwhile, looked for ways to sell more Baby Powder to two key groups of longtime users: African-American and overweight women. The “right place” to focus, according to a 2006 internal J&J marketing presentation, was “under developed geographical areas with hot weather, and higher AA population,” the “AA” referring to African-Americans.
“Powder is still considered a relevant product among AA consumers,” the presentation said. “This could be an opportunity.”
Johnson & Johnson took the unusual step of settling three women’s claims that its talc-based products caused their asbestos-linked cancers rather than let juries decide the cases, potentially opening a new front in the growing litigation against the world’s largest maker of health-care products.
Jurors in state court in Oklahoma City Wednesday spent about three hours weighing whether J&J’s baby powder was a factor in a 77-year-old woman’s development of peritoneal mesothelioma when a judge announced the two sides had cut a deal. Details of the accord weren’t made public.
(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson has settled three cases brought by plaintiffs who claimed asbestos in the company’s talcum-based products caused mesothelioma, an attorney for the plaintiffs’ said on Wednesday.
The cases were pending in Oklahoma, New York and California state courts.
Johnson & Johnson’s shares dipped on Thursday after a jury in California ordered the company to pay more than $29 million to a woman who claimed that asbestos in its talc-based powder products had caused her cancer.
In rendering its verdict in Alameda County Superior Court on Wednesday, the jury found that Johnson & Johnson knew about the potential risks that its baby powder was contaminated, but failed to warn the woman, Teresa Leavitt.
Ms. Leavitt, a resident of San Leandro, received a diagnosis of mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of internal organs that is associated with asbestos, in August 2017. Her lawyer, Joseph D. Satterley, said she had used Johnson & Johnson talc products for more than 30 years.
The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating Johnson & Johnson over concerns the company's baby powder may have contained asbestos.
The agencies subpoenaed the health care product maker in the wake of several jury awards to plaintiffs who claimed the company's talc products were tainted with asbestos and caused their cancers. The agencies are seeking documents about those matters and other suits Johnson & Johnson faces filed by shareholders and pension holders over the situation.
(Reuters) - A key supplier of talc used in Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday in the wake of multibillion-dollar lawsuits alleging its products caused ovarian cancer and asbestos-related mesothelioma.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson developed a strategy in the 1970s to deal with a growing volume of research showing that talc miners had elevated rates of lung disease and cancer: Promote the positive, challenge the negative.
(Reuters) - Shares of Johnson & Johnson fell over 6 percent on Friday, on track to post their biggest percentage drop in more than a decade, after Reuters reported that the pharma major knew that its baby powder was contaminated with cancer-causing asbestos. The decline in shares wiped off about $24 billion from the company’s market capitalization and made the stock the biggest drag on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 indexes.
Darlene Coker knew she was dying. She just wanted to know why.
She knew that her cancer, mesothelioma, arose in the delicate membrane surrounding her lungs and other organs. She knew it was as rare as it was deadly, a signature of exposure to asbestos. And she knew it afflicted mostly men who inhaled asbestos dust in mines and industries such as shipbuilding that used the carcinogen before its risks were understood.