Civil Rights attorney Ben Crump is getting ready to take on a historic lawsuit against pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson.
Crump filed the suit on behalf of The National Council of Negro Women, a non-profit that empowers and advocates for women of African descent and their families. Both parties allege that Johnson & Johnson marketed their cancer-causing baby power specifically to Black women despite knowing about the product’s links to ovarian cancers.
The attorney went into detail about the move on Tuesday during a press conference.
“I would be remiss if I did not say exactly what this lawsuit is about. It is about the lives of our grandmothers, our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, our nieces, and our wives, and how they were sinisterly targeted by Johnson and Johnson,” Crump explained. “This multi-billion-dollar corporation, their corporate executives know about the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer.”
“Black women have always been the backbone of this country, standing up for everyone, but receiving the least amount of respect,” he added. “Well, it is time that we stand up for Black women.”
Johnson & Johnson has since denied the allegations arguing that their marketing campaigns are “multicultural and inclusive.” The company also further denied that their products cause cancer despite the growing number of lawsuits that continue to pile up against them. J&J currently faces over 20,000 lawsuits connecting to their talc-based products.
In 2020, the company announced it would stop selling baby powder and other talc-based products a month before the Missouri Court of Appeals upheld a verdict that ordered the Fortune 500 business to pay over $2 billion in damages to 22 victims–all who said they were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using the brand’s products, ABC News reported.
Senator Elizabeth Warren will support Crump and the NCNW with the suit and she is set to propose legislation to prevent J&J from filing that would limit their liability in this case, theGrio reports.
Janice Mathis, the executive director of the NCNW, shared in a statement that “generations of Black women” used Johnson & Johnson’s products and were terribly affected by the company’s lack of accountability.
“This company, through its words and images, told Black women that we were offensive in our natural state and needed to use their products to stay fresh,” the statement read. “Generations of Black women believed them and made it our daily practice to use their products in ways that put us at risk of cancer — and we taught our daughters to do the same.”
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