According to a Reuters report, Johnson& Johnson was aware of the presence of asbestos in its baby powder samples but failed to notify authorities.
Citing documents and depositions, the report suggests that Johnson & Johnson’s raw talc and finished powder sometimes tested positive for traces of asbestos – an information known to the company’s executives and mine managers from 1971 to the early 2000s. A jury in Missouri had awarded $4.7 billion in July to 22 women who alleged that the products contained asbestos which caused them to develop ovarian cancer.
According to its latest quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Johnson & Johnson faces over 9,000 cases related to its body powders with talc. However, the company has repeatedly denied the presence of harmful asbestos or any dangerous components in its products. "Any suggestion that Johnson & Johnson knew or hid information about the safety of talc is false," the company said.
By late morning Friday, its stock price was down 10.5 percent, almost on pace for its worst day in a decade.