Johnson & Johnson’s talc supplier, Imerys Talc America, tried to worm its way out of the latest case in the growing talc litigation, but U.S. District Judge Michael M. Baylson shot down the company’s bid.
Carrie and Mark Youse filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania federal court against Johnson & Johnson as well as Imerys alleging that the talc used in Johnson’s Baby Powder and other talcum powder products contained asbestos, which contributed to Carrie Youse’s mesothelioma diagnosis.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, abdomen and chest. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral that was widely used in construction, shipbuilding and friction materials. Asbestos is mined from the earth, as is talc.
It can take up to five decades for mesothelioma to develop. Carrie Youse claims she developed the deadly disease after years of using Johnson & Johnson’s talc-containing products, which the Youses allege was tainted with asbestos. But, according to their lawsuit, J&J never told federal authorities or warned consumers that using the powders put them at risk for asbestos exposure.
Johnson & Johnson faces thousands of lawsuits that allege its talcum powder products caused mesothelioma and ovarian cancer. Many of those suits claim that the talc was contaminated with asbestos. Last month, Reuters reported that internal documents showed that Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that the talc it used contained asbestos, but the company continued to use it in its products despite the risks it posed to consumers.