Johnson & Johnson are in some major hot water. On October 18th, it was announced that the company is recalling 33,000 bottles of baby powder due to U.S. health regulators finding trace amounts of asbestos in samples.
The single lot of Johnson's Baby Powder was produced and shipped in the United States in 2018. The company has started an internal investigation and is working closely with the FDA to determine the validity of the test results. It's the first time the baby powder has been recalled for asbestos concerns.
According to a report from Reuters, the company has known about its talc products containing asbestos for decades. The company says that its talc products are safe and do not cause cancer, but is currently facing lawsuits from 15,500 plaintiffs relating to its products containing cancer-causing ingredients.
According to Rutgers University law professor David Noll, this recall could have detrimental effects on its defense for these lawsuits.
"I can't imagine an attorney for Johnson & Johnson standing up in front of a jury now and saying with a straight face that the product is safe," Mr. Noll said. "If people come to associate the company’s signature product with deadly diseases, there will be huge spillover effects for its ability to market other products.”