Johnson & Johnson to pay $42m in baby powder cancer payout

16 March, 2019, 02:11 | Author: Regina Silva
  • California jury orders J&J to pay US$29 million in latest talc cancer trial

We are disappointed with today's verdict and will pursue an appeal because Johnson's Baby Powder does not contain asbestos or cause cancer. A judge awarded plaintiffs claiming that the baby powder caused cancer $4.7 billion in July.

That hasn't stopped people around the country from filing lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson.

Jurors in state court in Oakland, California, Wednesday held J&J responsible for Teresa Leavitt's mesothelioma, a cancer linked to asbestos exposure.

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

A California jury on Wednesday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay US$29 million to a woman who alleged that asbestos in the company's talcum-powder-based products, including Johnson's Baby Powder, caused her mesothelioma, the latest defeat for the healthcare conglomerate which is facing thousands of similar lawsuits. The verdict said that the baby powder was a "substantial contributing factor" in her illness.

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"We respect the legal process and reiterate that jury verdicts are not medical, scientific or regulatory conclusions about a product", Johnson & Johnson said in a statement. This track record shows that there are one set of facts in these cases, and that decades of tests by independent, non-litigation driven experts and institutions repeatedly confirm that Johnson's Baby Powder does not contain asbestos or cause cancer.

"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".

After two days of deliberation, the jury found that J&J talc-based products were defective and caused Leavitt's mesothelioma, and that the company had failed to warn consumers about the risks. Cypress Mines, one of J&J's former talc suppliers, is answerable for the remaining 2 percent.

Some of its talc products sometimes contained materials that "might be classified as asbestos powder", The New York Times reported, quoting an internal company memo. The company is now embroiled in roughly 13,000 lawsuits brought by people who claim the company's products caused or contributed to serious health issues, the AP reports.

Almost 14,000 cases involving people who believe that J&J's talc powder caused their cancer are making their way through the USA legal system.

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