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UK lawyers 'watching closely' after allegations in US of asbestos in talcum powder

A UK product safety lawyer has warned that the healthcare company Johnson & Johnson could face thousands of claims in this country following reports in the US that some of its talcum powder contained asbestos

Talcum powder on shelf - istockphoto image

15 December 2018

A specialist UK product safety lawyer has warned that the healthcare company Johnson & Johnson (J&J) could face thousands of claims after an investigation by the news agency Reuters which alleges that talcum powder produced for the company sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos and that this was not disclosed to regulators or the public.

Michelle Victor from law firm Leigh day said that the firm is watching the developments in the US very carefully ahead of potential litigation in the UK.

The report published on 14 December 2018 claims that according to documents revealed in ongoing litigation in the US, from 1971 to the early 2000s, Johnson & Johnson raw talcum powder and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos.

According to Reuters the report comes after J&J were compelled to share thousands of confidential documents with US lawyers representing over 11,000 people who claim that J&J talcum powder caused their cancers — including ovarian cancer and Mesothelioma.

Johnson & Johnson deny the allegations. Michelle Victor from the product safety and consumer law team at law firm Leigh Day said:

“We are looking closely at these developments in the US in terms of any impact on consumers in this country.

“If it is found that asbestos was present in these products and that Johnson & Johnson knew about its presence in its talcum powder since 1971, as alleged in this Reuter’s report, then the company could face thousands of legal claims in the UK totalling millions of pounds.”

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