Woman awarded $42 million in baby powder terminal cancer lawsuit

Marco Green
March 14, 2019

A woman in California who says Johnson & Johnson baby powder caused her to develop mesothelioma was awarded $29 million by a jury Wednesday.

"We are disappointed with today's verdict and will pursue an appeal because Johnson's Baby Powder does not contain asbestos or cause cancer", the statement says.

Johnson & Johnson had refuted allegations that the product causes cancer and cited several studies and tests that to prove that its talc is safe.

The New Jersey-based company is likely to appeal the verdict, which was made in California Superior Court in Oakland.

Leavitt's is the first case to go to trial since a December Reuters report based on internal documents confirmed Johnson & Johnson was aware the talc in its products sometimes contained asbestos from the 1970s up until the early 2000s, but failed to inform consumers or regulators of that fact.

The nine-week trial that began on January 7 involved a jury that deliberated for two days before delivering the verdict in California Superior Court in Oakland, the report said.

The jury deliberated for two days before delivering its verdict.

"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".

The company has insisted that its talc-based products are demonstrably safe. "Plaintiffs' attorneys have fundamentally failed to show that Johnson's Baby Powder contains asbestos, and their own experts concede that they are not recognizing the accepted definition of asbestos and are ignoring crucial distinctions between minerals that are asbestos and minerals that are not". In 2017, she was diagnosed with mesothelioma - a kind of cancer linked to asbestos exposure.

In July a year ago, J&J was ordered to pay $4.7 billion to 22 ovarian cancer patients by a court in the U.S. state of Missouri. J&J won three other cases and another five ended in hung juries.

The company has appealed against all of the plaintiff verdicts, and the company said it was confident the verdicts would be overturned on appeal.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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