Johnson’s baby powder makers knew for years there was asbestos in its talc for infants, it’s claimed.
An investigation by news agency Reuters reviewed previously confidential documents showing the company’s raw talc and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts.
The reports, memos and other confidential reports relate to a successfully defended Johnson & Johnson lawsuit in 1999.
These are now being shared with lawyers for some of the 11,700 plaintiffs now claiming that the company’s talc caused their cancers.
Reuters claim they show from 1971 to the early 2000s, the company’s executives, mine managers, doctors and lawyers were aware raw talc and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos.
J&J declined to comment further to the news agency, regarding the claims.
For more than two months, it turned down repeated requests for an interview with J&J executives.
The Sun Online has contacted J&J about these latest reports and is awaiting a reply.
In July the company was ordered to shell out £3.6billion to 22 women after asbestos in its products gave them ovarian cancer.
A jury in St Louis, Missouri initially awarded £418million in compensation and added £3.1billion in punitive damages in the latest court case against pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson.
However, the payout amounts to just 6.17 per cent of the firm’s £58.35billion annual revenue.
The verdict comes as the company fights some 9,000 legal cases involving its signature baby powder.
J&J said it was “deeply disappointed” and plans to appeal the ruling.
During the six-week trial, the women and their families said they developed ovarian cancer after using baby powder and other talc products for decades.
Their lawyers alleged the company knew its talc was contaminated with asbestos since the 1970s but failed to warn buyers about the risks.
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