A man who used Johnson’s Baby Powder daily faces a painful death from mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive type of cancer that affects the lungs, an occupational medicine expert told a New Jersey jury in a trial accusing Johnson & Johnson of failing to warn consumers that it talc-containing products could cause cancer.
Occupational physician Jacqueline Moline of the Feinstein Institute of Medical Research at Northwell Health testified on behalf of plaintiff Stephen Lanzo III, who claims that Johnson & Johnson’s talc products contain asbestos, a known carcinogen. She said that mesothelioma is a “signal cancer,” so closely linked to asbestos exposure that it indicates that the patient had been exposed to asbestos materials.
Based on her review of medical records, studies on Johnson & Johnson’s talc products, and her own examination of Lanzo, Moline confirmed that Lanzo has mesothelioma and that it was caused by exposure to Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder, based on his statements that he used the powder several times a day throughout his life.
Moline told the jury that since Lanzo was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2016, he has undergone multiple rounds of chemotherapy and was in remission. But there was evidence in November that his cancer may be recurring. In general, mesothelioma patients have a two to two-and-a-half year life expectancy.
Lanzo and his wife are suing Johnson & Johnson, alleging the consumer health care giant knew as far back as the 1970s that its talcum powder products could cause cancer, but failed to warn consumers. Also named in the suit are Johnson & Johnson’s talc supplier, Imerys Talc America Inc., and Cyprus Amax Minerals Co., an Imerys predecessor. Lanzo’s trial is the second trial alleging Johnson & Johnson’s talc-containing products caused mesothelioma.
Johnson & Johnson also faces thousands of additional lawsuits from women who claim that regular use of Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder on their genitals for feminine hygiene caused them to develop ovarian cancer.