J&J Hit with Another Asbestos Verdict Cancer Case
On Wednesday, a Los Angeles jury found in favor of a 68-year-old woman who was diagnosed with mesothelioma after years and years of Johnson’s Baby Powder use.
The court ordered J&J and its talc suppliers to pay $21.7 million in damages. Johnson & Johnson was assigned 67 percent of the damages while the remainder was split amongst the other defendants, including Imerys and Cyprus Apex Minerals.
Joanne Anderson, the plaintiff, is suffering from malignant pleural mesothelioma, which is generally caused by exposure to asbestos. J&J has vigorously denied that its products contain or once contained asbestos-tainted talc, though there are internal memos from years past that show otherwise and which demonstrate that company execs knew there was an asbestos problem.
Asbestos and talc can become intermingled in the mining process and it becomes impossible to extract the carcinogen from the talc.
While each can of baby powder may only contain trace amounts of toxic asbestos, continued use of the powder for decades constitutes regular exposure to the hazardous mineral and an increased chance for developing mesothelioma and other lung-related cancers.
Reuters reports that damages in the Anderson case could potentially grow to a larger number as the jury debates whether to award punitive damages to the 68-year-old plaintiff.
In the meantime, Johnson & Johnson lawyers are making sure the press knows they plan to appeal the verdict, the second large mesothelioma-related loss for the company in just two months.
“While we are disappointed with this decision, the jury has further deliberations to conduct in this trial and we will reserve additional comment until the case is fully completed,” J&J said in a statement.
The mega consumer products corporation also faces some 6,000 cases forged by plaintiffs who claim that the company’s famous baby powder caused them to develop ovarian cancer.