A California jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $29 million to a woman who claimed that the talc in the company’s Baby Powder product contains asbestos that caused her cancer.
The jury’s decision is Johnson & Johnson’s latest defeat in a nationwide complaint involving its Baby Powder. The company is facing 13,000 lawsuits, in which defendants alleged that they are suffering from mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, and other diseases for using the product.
On Wednesday, a jury in the California Superior Court located in Oakland, found that Johnson & Johnson is liable for Teresa Leavitt, who has mesothelioma. The jury also determined that the company failed to warn Leavitt that its Baby Powder was tainted with asbestos, which is carcinogenic.
Leavitt’s lawyer, Joseph Satterly told the Los Angeles Times, “Another jury has rejected the decades-long deception by Johnson & Johnson claiming that their baby powder was free of asbestos.”
He added, “Hundreds of internal J&J documents showed the truth that it has been hiding for years. We are proud of the jury’s hard work and confident that jurors in future cases will likewise follow the science and the law.”
Previous verdicts against Johnson & Johnson
In July 2018, a jury in Missouri ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.8 billion to 22 women who claimed that they are suffering from ovarian cancer because of its baby powder products. In 2016, a jury in the state ordered the company to pay $72 million to the family of woman who died from ovarian cancer linked to her use of Johnson’s Baby Power and Shower to Shower.
Additionally, in May last year, a jury in California slapped Johnson & Johnson with a $25.7 million verdict in a lawsuit filed by a woman who claimed that she developed cancer by using the company’s baby powder.
Johnson & Johnson continues to deny the allegations that the talc in its Baby Powder product causes cancer. In a national ad campaign, the company cited scientific studies proving that its product is “safe and does not cause cancer.”
The company is confident that it “has strong grounds on appeal to overturn the negative verdicts against it.”
In a statement, Kim Montagnino, the spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson, said, “We respect the legal process and reiterate that jury verdicts are not medical, scientific or regulatory conclusions about a product.” She added, “We are disappointed with today’s verdict and will pursue an appeal because Johnson’s Baby Powder does not contain asbestos or cause cancer.”