J&J Loses Trial After Claim Links Baby Powder to Mesothelioma

On May 23, a $25.7 million jury verdict came down in favor of a 66-year-old woman who says she developed cancer after being exposed to asbestos through Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder.

The verdict includes $21.75 million in compensatory damages and $4 million in punitive damages. Additionally, one juror asked the judge to include a warning on future Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products.

Joanne Anderson and her husband filed a lawsuit in 2017 after her mesothelioma diagnosis. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer linked to asbestos exposure. Anderson is one of several plaintiffs who allege the company’s baby powder contains asbestos.  The court assigned Johnson & Johnson 67 percent of the compensatory damages, with the rest distributed among other defendants.

The company has been battling more than 9,000 cases that claim its baby powder causes ovarian cancer. However, in recent months, litigation has taken a turn to focusing on whether or not the product causes mesothelioma. 

Johnson & Johnson has denied that its talc products contain asbestos or causes cancer. To back its claims, the company cites decades of testing by independent laboratories and scientists. However, plaintiffs allege that Johnson & Johnson asbestos and talc are closely linked minerals and intermingle in the mining process—making it impossible to remove the carcinogenic substance from its product.

In addition, attorneys also allege that Johnson & Johnson knew about the mineral contaminant in their baby powder. But rather than pulling the product or going with a safer alternative, the company launched a multi-decade misinformation campaign. This included hiding tests from the FDA, altering reports to make them more favorable and lying to consumers.

Johnson & Johnson said in a statement, “[w]hile we are disappointed with this decision, the jury has further deliberation to conduct in this trial and we will reserve additional comment until the case is fully completed.”

The jury verdict in favor of Anderson marks the second trial loss for the company. In April, a New Jersey state court ordered J & J and talc supplier, Imerys, to pay $37 million to a man and his wife. The man alleges that he developed mesothelioma after a lifetime of regular use of the company’s baby powder from his birth in 1972.

Johnson & Johnson is appealing both of these jury verdicts.

How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help Baby Powder Mesothelioma Victims

Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer closely linked to asbestos exposure. It affects delicate tissue that lines body cavities, often around the lungs, but also in the abdomen and elsewhere. The Carlson Law Firm can assist you if you are living with mesothelioma as a result of Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder. Contact our firm to speak with a qualified attorney to discuss your claim.


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