Johnson & Johnson hit with $29.4M verdict in talcum powder case

Johnson & Johnson hit with $29.4M verdict in talcum powder case

A woman in California who says Johnson & Johnson baby powder caused her to develop mesothelioma was awarded $29 million by a jury Wednesday.

According to Reuters, the jury found that the products used by Leavitt were defective, and that the company had failed to warn consumers of the health risks.

The lawsuit is just one of thousands of similar lawsuits Johnson & Johnson is facing.

The lawsuit was brought by Terry Leavitt, who claims Johnson & Johnson's talc-based products, which she used in the 1960s and 1970s, contained asbestos. The nine-week trial began on January 7 and included testimony from almost a dozen experts on both sides.

Johnson & Johnson said it would appeal this verdict, citing "serious procedural and evidentiary errors" in the course of the trial.

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 deliberated for two days before delivering its verdict.

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

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"Hundreds of internal J&J documents showed the truth that it has been hiding for years".

In 11 cases so far, three have resulted in wins for plaintiffs, awarding damages as high as $4.69bn in a July 2018 multi-plaintiff ovarian cancer verdict.

The verdict is J&J's seventh loss over claims that it hid the health risks of its baby powder.

Leavitt's trial originally included J&J's talc supplier, Imerys Talc America, a unit of Imerys SE, as a co-defendant.

J&J, which has steadfastly denied its baby powder is contaminated with asbestos, still faces more than 13,000 lawsuits claiming its 135-year-old baby powder line caused mesothelioma and ovarian cancer. Plaintiffs' attorneys have fundamentally failed to show that Johnson's Baby Powder contains asbestos, and their own experts concede that they are not recognizing the accepted definition of asbestos and are ignoring crucial distinctions between minerals that are asbestos and minerals that are not.

On Tuesday, the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy also took a closer look at the science that may link talc to cancer and explored the possibility of creating a law that would more closely regulate the cosmetic and personal products industry.

"It's not clear to us the read-through this case has to the other trials or that these decisions will be upheld on appeal (where the technical merits will likely find a more receptive audience than a jury)", the analysts wrote.

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