On Wednesday, May 23, 2018 a Superior Court jury in Los Angeles, California ordered Johnson & Johnson, manufacturers of Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Shower To Shower, skin care products that allegedly include asbestos, and Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc., which sells the products, pay plaintiff Joanne Anderson compensatory damages of $21.7 million after she claimed that the products caused her to develop mesothelioma cancer. The jury then ordered the next day that the defendants pay another $4 million in punitive damages, meaning that the judgment ordered a total payment of $25.75 million.
Johnson & Johnson and Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. were treated as a single defendant for the purpose of the trial. The complaint lists several more defendants including Johnson & Johnson units and suppliers including Honeywell/Bendex, Borg Warner and Fel-Pro and other talc suppliers. The jury ruled that Johnson & Johnson was responsible for two-thirds of the compensatory damages and 100% of the punitive award.
Mrs. Anderson, who is 68-years old and a resident with her husband, Gary Anderson, of Oregon, said that she was a devoted bowler and used J&J talcum powder in her shoes and on her hands for many years during her bowling routine. She added that she also used it on her children to treat diaper rash. Experts who were called to testify for the plaintiff asserted that she used the powder more than 10,000 times.
Doctors diagnosed Mrs. Anderson with pleural mesothelioma, a cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs and is often inked to exposure to asbestos. Asbestos and talc are minerals that are often mines near each other. Since the 1970s, talc used in consumer products is supposed to be asbestos-free.
The plaintiff also noted studies that mills and mines dating back to the early part of the 20th Century have linked asbestos and cancer.
On the other hand, Johnson & Johnson in it defense in this lawsuit as well as the others asserts that its products don’t contain asbestos or cause cancer and have had scientists and other experts advocate that in the trials.
The verdict was the second consecutive loss for J&J over charges that its talcum powder based products contain asbestos.
Talcum powder law firm Simon Greenstone Panatier PC represented the plaintiff. Johnson & Johnson cancer claim lawyers King & Spalding LLP advocated for the defendants.
History of Lawsuits Linking Talcum Powder With Cancer
Johnson & Johnson has been hit with a plethora of judgments that its talcum powder based products causes cancer.
The company has faced more than 6,000 cases claiming that its talcum powder products caused ovarian cancer. However, recently the litigations has changed focus and plaintiffs are now also claiming the widely used products cause mesothelioma due to alleged asbestos contamination.
In April, a New Jersey state court jury ordered Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier, a unit of Imerys, to pay $117 million to a man who claimed that he developed mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos when using J&J’s Baby Powder. An appeal is pending.
Moreover, J&J and Imerys, as well as local outlets of Rite Aid, a drugstore chain in the United States, are embroiled in another mesothelioma trial in South Carolina.
Johnson & Johnson has been entangled in talcum powder-related lawsuits since February 2016 when a Missouri jury ordered that the company pay $72 million in a Johnson & Johnson baby powder case. The verdict was overruled in an appeal in 2017.
In May 2017, a Missouri jury ordered an award of $110.5 million to a woman who developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower talcum powder. The company said at the time that it planned to appeal.
In August 2017 a California jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and talcum powder case. A trial judge overturned the verdict in October 2017 and ordered a new trial.
In October 2017 unsealed documents in a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson on behalf of more than 50 women in St. Louis, Missouri revealed that the company knew for decades that its talcum powder products might have contained asbestos. It shows that the company was aware of the dangers of asbestos contamination of its products in the early 1970s and trained employees to claim to the public that its baby powder was not contaminated.
Lawsuits on the issue that have not involved Johnson & Johnson have also been filed.
In April 2015 a California jury ordered Colgate-Palmolive to pay $13 million to a woman who claimed that she developed mesothelioma due to the use of its Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder.
In 2016 a Los Angeles Superior Court jury ordered Whittaker, Clark & Daniels to pay a record-setting award of $18 million to plaintiff Philip Depoian who claimed that he developed mesothelioma after being exposed to talcum powder his father brought home from his job as a barber.
Georgia Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you or a loved one developed mesothelioma or ovarian cancer due to the use of asbestos contaminated talcum powder, the Eichholz Law Firm, has Savannah mesothelioma lawyers that are here to help. Our staff of talcum powder lawsuit attorneys is well skilled and very knowledgeable in organizing and guiding you through a lawsuit involving Johnson & Johnson or any other manufacturer and distributor of asbestos contaminated talcum powder. Make sure that these companies are held accountable. Contact us for a consultation today.