Baby Powder From Decades Ago Caused Cancer, California Jury Finds

Mae Love
March 15, 2019

Johnson & Johnson is facing over 13,000 more cases stemming from asbestos-contaminated talcum powder.

A jury in California determined that Johnson & Johnson baby powder was a "substantial contributing factor" to Teresa Leavitt's mesothelioma, and awarded her $29 million.

The company is now fighting two asbestos-related lawsuits in New Jersey and Oklahoma courts, and two more trials could begin this month, the UBS analysts said.

The company also noted that multiple cases have been decided in favor of J&J, or been declared mistrials.

Two previous cases have led to victories against the conglomerate, including a July 2018 multi-plaintiff ovarian cancer case that awarded $4.69 billion in damages to the victims.

The company said it would appeal, citing "serious procedural and evidentiary errors" during the trial, saying lawyers for the woman had fundamentally failed to show its baby powder contains asbestos. It has more than two dozen trials scheduled around the USA this year.

A court in the USA state of California ordered Johnson & Johnson to compensate a woman to the tune of $29 million for cancer complications she developed from using the company's talcum powder.

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Her suit is one of many that link cancers to asbestos in Johnson & Johnson's talc-based products and contend that the company concealed the health risk for decades. "We respect the legal process and reiterate that jury verdicts are not medical, scientific or regulatory conclusions about a product". Even if the verdicts are overturned on appeal, the story still gets out that a large amount of money was awarded, and people believe a common household item isn't safe.

"Yet another jury has rejected J&J's misleading claims that its talc was free of asbestos", Leavitt's lawyer, Moshe Maimon, said in a statement Wednesday, slamming the "decades of cover-up, deception and concealment by J&J".

"Hundreds of internal J&J documents showed the truth that it has been hiding for years".

The company has denied all asbestos-related allegations, including a Reuters report that claimed executives knew for years that the powder contained the carcinogen.

A few weeks ago, sources told Reuters that India's CDCSO had failed to find traces of asbestos in J&J's talcum powder. When asbestos fibers are breathed in, they travel to the ends of small air passages and reach the membranes of the thorax and lunges.

Another juror, Anu Agarwal, a product manager in Castro Valley, said J&J was irresponsible for failing to adequately follow up on studies that showed the presence of asbestos in Baby Powder.

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