Louisville residents may have heard how Johnson & Johnson is facing numerous lawsuits from consumers who were diagnosed with mesothelioma: a rare and aggressive cancer caused by asbestos exposure. The plaintiffs allege that regular use of the corporation’s talc-based baby powder, which was found to contain the mineral, led to their developing the cancer.

One of the most recent in the long line of victims is a 64-year-old native of Hawaii. She was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in February 2019 and filed a civil lawsuit in the Honolulu Circuit Court in November 2019. The defendants named in the lawsuit are Johnson & Johnson and the supermarket chain that sold the baby powder. The latter is being blamed because under product liability law, it had a duty not to sell unsafe products.

In October 2019, an FDA test found certain J&J baby powder bottles to be contaminated with asbestos. J&J subsequently recalled that lot of 30,000 bottles yet continued to deny the presence of the mineral in its products. Very few mesothelioma cases against J&J have ended in a settlement.

The plaintiff has already undergone four rounds of chemotherapy and is currently being treated with the antibody Keytruda. Her heart, kidneys and blood cell count have been seriously affected. The amount she seeks in damages has not been disclosed.

Asbestos exposure can occur not just through the use of certain products but also on the job. For example, workers may develop asbestos-related illnesses when removing old insulation or tiling. Whatever the case, victims may consider seeing a lawyer before filing a claim against their employer or the maker of an asbestos-contaminated product. A lawyer might hire investigators and other experts to build up the case before proceeding to negotiations. If negotiations fail, the lawyer may litigate.