J&J Talc-related Mesothelioma Lawsuit
After scores of lawsuits that found consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson responsible for the cancer diagnoses of plaintiffs who filed against them, J&J scored a victory last week in the case of a California woman who claimed she developed mesothelioma due to her consistent use of the company’s famed Johnson’s Baby Powder.
The jury in a Los Angeles Superior Court found in favor of Johnson & Johnson last Thursday, disputing Tina Herford’s claim that her mesothelioma was a result of years and years of use of the company’s talcum-based products, which lawyers argued contained asbestos particles.
Reuters reports that the jury also found in favor of Imerys, the company that supplies J&J with the naturally-occurring talc that is used in products like Johnson’s Baby Powder, long a staple in many American households.
Both companies welcomed the verdict, reports a Reuters article, which quoted J & J as saying it believed that setbacks dealt to individuals pursuing ovarian cancer cases had “forced plaintiff attorneys to pivot to yet another baseless theory.”
“Johnson’s Baby Powder has been around since 1894 and it does not contain asbestos or cause mesothelioma or ovarian cancer,” the company added in a release to the press.
Yet, plenty of other juries have ascertained otherwise, and Herford’s lawyer cautioned other potential plaintiffs about reading too much into a single verdict.
The company currently faces about 5,500 lawsuits, based on claims that it failed to warn women as to the cancer risks associated with use of its talcum products.
Lawyers, including Herford’s attorneys, maintain that internal J & J documents show that the company was well aware of the presence of asbestos in the talc used in its popular products but continued to sell those products for decades after the discovery.
Some plaintiffs have already seen record awards in similar cases, especially those involving ovarian cancer. In five trials in Missouri involving ovarian cancer lawsuits, juries found J & J liable four times and awarded the plaintiffs a total of $307 million, reports Reuters.
In California, a jury awarded a now-deceased woman $417 million, though that award was later tossed.
At the same time, J & J is also facing heat for its defective Pinnacle Hip Implants. Last week, a federal jury ordered the company to pay $247 million to six patients who were seriously injured by the defective mechanism.