Jury awards $29.5M to woman with cancer who used Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder

Jury awards $29.5 Million to woman with cancer who used Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder


The jury found that J&J knew about the potential risks that its baby powder was contaminated

A jury in California has ordered Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to pay more than $29 million to a woman who claimed that asbestos in its talc-based powder products caused her cancer. The jury found that J&J knew about the potential risks that its baby powder was contaminated, but failed to warn the woman, Teresa Leavitt.  Leavitt was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the internal organs that is associated with asbestos.

The jury awarded Leavitt $22 million for her pain and suffering, $5 million to compensate her family members, nearly $1.3 million for her medical costs and $1.2 million for her lost wages, according to her lawyer.


J&J says its product is safe. But asbestos, a carcinogen that can exist underground near talc, was a concern inside the company for decades.

J&J said that it was disappointed with the verdict and that it planned to appeal. As in past cases, which the company has fought with mixed success, it said that decades of testing showed that its baby powder did not contain asbestos or cause cancer.

More than 13,000 plaintiffs have sued J&J over what they say are cancers caused by its talc products. The New York Times reported last year that the company had spent decades trying to keep negative information about the potential risk of asbestos contamination from reaching the public.

In July, a jury in Missouri awarded $4.69 billion to 22 women who claimed that asbestos in J&J products, including its signature baby powder, caused them to develop ovarian cancer. In December, the company lost a motion to reverse the verdict.

This California case that concluded on Wednesday was one of the first to go to jury after the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing in December that said the company will cooperate with “government inquiries” and subpoenas to produce documents related to the matter from the Department of Justice, the SEC and Sen. Patty Murray, a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

Do You Believe You Have Been Harmed by Talc?
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma and you were a user of Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder, you are not alone. To learn how our personal injury lawyers can help you and your family, please contact us for a Free Case Evaluation. We would be honored to speak with you and will respond promptly to every inquiry we receive.

Source: Reuters, March 14, 2019