Can Retailers Be Held Liable For Selling Tainted Talc Products?

Legal News

Giant retailers such as Walgreens have been sued for allegedly fueling the opioid crisis. But when it comes to mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, lung cancer and other disorders caused by asbestos-tainted talc products, should retailers be held responsible for selling the potentially-harmful products? 

Johnson & Johnson faces over 20,000 talc powder lawsuits, in which plaintiffs allege that talc powder contaminated by asbestos caused them to develop ovarian cancer. According to, a recent decision by the Supreme Court of New York County, implies that retailers are not automatically eligible to have claims against them dismissed. says the case tried in New York was filed by the family of Elizabeth Milan, who is deceased. Milan used a Johnson & Johnson talcum powder product. Her family claims the talc was contaminated by asbestos and caused Elizabeth’s death from malignant mesothelioma. In addition to filing suit against the companies involved in the manufacturing of the talc powder, which includes J&J,  Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Cyprus Amax Minerals Company, Whittaker Clark & Daniels, the retailer Lot Less, which sold Milan the contaminated product, is named as a defendant. 

Lot Less asked the court to dismiss the claim. reports the retailer’s basis for doing so is that the deceased’s family has not yet proven that the product they sold had contained asbestos, or that it was actually contaminated by asbestos. The retailer tried to argue that “a seller or distributor of a defective product has an implied right of indemnification.” 

However, per, the court found that this assertion was premature because the underlying liability has yet to be determined. 

In light of this, Lot Less “is not able to evade an analysis of whether they played a role in Ms. Milan’s mesothelioma, and has the potential to be held responsible for the damages that she suffered.”

Tags: , ,

Related Articles

Toxic Mac & Cheese? Kraft Hit With Class Action Over Chemical Compound In Popular Processed Food
Paraquat: A Pesticide That’s Linked To Parkinson’s Disease Has Its Maker Facing Over A Dozen Lawsuits