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Johnson & Johnson Agrees To Pay $8.9 Billion To Settle Claims That Talc Caused Cancer


“Johnson & Johnson faces about 40,000 lawsuits from people claiming its talc products caused cancer. While it denies the allegations, it has agreed to pay almost $9 billion to claimants.”


Internal documents examined by the Reuters news agency show that Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that its baby talc was sometimes tainted with carcinogenic asbestos and that it kept this information from regulators and the public. The earliest mentions of the talc being tainted come from 1957 and 1958. The company was also aware that at least three tests by three different labs between 1972 and 1975 had found asbestos in its talc – in one case at levels reported as “rather high.”

But this is hardly the only corporate scandal that Johnson & Johnson has recently been involved in. In 2021 the company was forced to pay $5 billion towards settling a tsunami of lawsuits related to America’s opioid addiction crisis. Between 1999 and 2017, almost 218,000 Americans lost their lives as a result of overdoses related to the use of prescription opioid painkillers manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and other drug makers.

In a further recent scandal, in 2019 a Pennsylvania jury ruled that Johnson & Johnson must pay $8 billion in damages and interest for failing to warn that Risperdal, a psychiatric drug it produced, could cause breast growth in men.

To read about the link between Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine and life-threatening blood clots, see this page on the Yale Medicine website.