Writer: Myron Levin

Myron Levin is editor of FairWarning.

Consumer Protection

Baby Powder Battles: Johnson & Johnson Internal Documents Reveal Asbestos Worries

In the early 1970s, a Johnson & Johnson official posed a question that haunts the company today. If Johnson's Baby Powder contained asbestos at a level of, say, 1 percent, how much of the cancer-causing substance would a baby inhale when dusted with the powder?

Consumer Protection

A Win for Johnson & Johnson in Baby Powder-Mesothelioma Case

A California jury today rejected claims that Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier were responsible for the deadly cancer of a woman who blamed her illness on breathing asbestos fibers from contaminated body powders.

Consumer Protection

California Judge Tosses Out $417 Million Verdict in Talc-Ovarian Cancer Case

Overriding a huge jury verdict against Johnson & Johnson, a Los Angeles judge has ordered a new trial in the case of an ovarian cancer victim who claimed she contracted the disease through longtime use of the company’s talc powders for feminine hygiene.

Notes

How Many Deaths?

How many people are killed or seriously injured because of drivers fiddling with their cellphones? Due to widespread underreporting, no one really knows. In 2015, according to estimates of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 3,477 deaths caused by distracted driving, including 476 involving the use of cellphones. Depending [...]

Consumer Protection

Don’t Drive Distracted, Wireless Industry Says, But Safety Advocates Want More Than Talk

Countermeasures to prevent drivers from fiddling with their phones have proven ineffective. Safety advocates want wireless companies to implement technology that automatically block electronic distractions, but the industry is reluctant to take this approach.

Consumer Protection

Johnson & Johnson Hit With Record Talc-Ovarian Cancer Verdict of $417 Million

It was the first California trial in the mushrooming legal battle over links between genital use of talc and ovarian cancer, and the award against J&J was by far the largest so far.

Consumer Protection

Johnson & Johnson Wins Its First Talc-Ovarian Cancer Case

Breaking a string of lopsided courtroom defeats, Johnson & Johnson scored a legal victory Friday when a St. Louis jury rejected the claim of an ovarian cancer victim that her use of talc powders for feminine hygiene caused the disease.

Public Health

Battling Menthol Restrictions, R.J. Reynolds Reaches Out to Sharpton, Other Black Leaders

Civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton, in October at an Oakland, Calif., church forum about the impact of banning menthol cigarettes. (Photo by Rachel Loyd/Oakland North) Tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds, the top seller of the menthol cigarettes favored by most black smokers, is seizing on the hot button [...]

Consumer Protection

They’re Everywhere!

Exponent, Inc. isn't a household name, but it is a go-to destination for major industries with liability problems.

Consumer Protection

Johnson & Johnson Hammered Again in Talc-Ovarian Cancer Verdict of $70 Million

Health care products giant Johnson & Johnson suffered another big legal defeat late Thursday, when a St. Louis jury ordered the company and its talc supplier to pay about $70 million in damages to a woman who blamed her ovarian cancer on the use of talc powders for feminine hygiene. [...]

Consumer Protection

Another Big Defeat for Johnson & Johnson in Talc-Ovarian Cancer Case

Johnson & Johnson faces more than 1,200 liability claims from ovarian cancer victims contending that they contracted the disease from feminine hygiene use of the company's talc powders--Johnson's Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. Johnson & Johnson suffered a second straight legal defeat in defense of its signature [...]

Consumer Protection

Regulators, Automakers Urged to Warn Parents About Flawed Seats

Kayla Davidson and her son, Maxx, who was four-years-old when he died in a rear-end collision in Memphis in April, 2014. Freakish as it may have seemed, the accident that killed 13-month-old Weston Kingsley was hardly unforeseeable. On the day he died in February 2014, he was buckled [...]

Consumer Protection

Johnson & Johnson Dealt $72 Million Courtroom Loss in Talc-Ovarian Cancer Case

Jacqueline Fox Johnson & Johnson has suffered a major courtroom defeat in the first in a wave of lawsuits claiming that talc products marketed by the company for feminine hygiene use caused ovarian cancer. A jury in St. Louis late Monday night ordered the health care products giant [...]

Environment

Report Renews Concern About Asbestos-Like Minerals at Sites in Arid West

Recent research is focusing new attention on erionite, an asbestos-like mineral, blamed for staggering rates of a deadly cancer in Turkey, that also is found in the rocks and soil of 13 Western states.

Consumer Protection

Racial Politics Flavor Debate Over Banning Menthol Cigarettes

Kool, introduced in the 1930s by Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co., was one of the early menthol brands, and until the 1950s the most popular. This 1937 ad was one of many that promoted Kool as soothing to the throat. (Cigarette ads courtesy of the Stanford University collection) [...]