Corporate greed too often puts the lives of everyday people at risk. The most recent example involves reports confirming the Johnson & Johnson knew its baby powder contained asbestos without notifying consumers.
J&J hid danger for decades
For decades, plaintiffs have attempted to force Johnson & Johnson to release internal data about the presence of asbestos. A recent investigative report led by Reuters uncovered thousands of documents that confirm many cancer victims’ worst fears. The trusted household brand knowingly sold talc-based products laced with asbestos.
Mirroring the cruel and predatory behavior of Big Tobacco, Johnson & Johnson reportedly withheld high-risk information from the Food and Drug Administration as far back as 1972, when three labs discovered asbestos in the talc powders predominately used by women and infants. One of the laboratories asserted the level of asbestos was “rather high.” Court testimony, witness depositions, and investigative journalist reports indicate that products were laced with cancer-causing agent from 1971 to 2000. Other news reports are now claiming that tainted talc powders were discovered as far back as 1957.
Although these horrific facts have come to light, many documents continue to be withheld from public scrutiny.
Billion-dollar verdicts are just the beginning
Despite the best efforts of Johnson & Johnson to conceal evidence and avoid responsibility for the harms it inflicted, victims fought and won an uphill battle that forced the corporation to pay $4.7 billion in reparations in July 2018. Using tactics similar to Big Tobacco, the outfit again tried to evade responsibility and have the people’s judgment set aside. But in a December decision that can never restore the loss of health and life, a Missouri judge refused to deny 22 women who suffered ovarian cancer justice. The courtroom victory is being heralded as a significant step forward in holding Johnson & Johnson accountable for decades of deceit.
Although 22 women fought a global corporation and won a judgment, thousands have suffered immeasurable losses due to corporate greed and negligence. What makes matters increasingly disturbing is that Johnson & Johnson continues to claim innocence. That’s why more people who were harmed are urged to come forward.