You are here

Johnson & Johnson Hit With $29 Million Verdict in Talc Cancer Case

California Woman Claimed Asbestos in Talc-Based Powder Caused Her Mesothelioma

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.

Source: The New York Times, March 14, 2019

Recent Headlines

Medical Device Enables Nerve Stimulation During Sleep
May Offer Improved Safety Profile for Pediatric Patients
Hope for Sufferers With Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome
KardiaMobile Receives Two More Clearances for Arrhythmia Detection
Possible First Treatment Option for Rare Autoimmune Disease of the CNS
New Hematologic Biomarker Test Provides New Approach to Sepsis Triage and Diagnosis
Antibiotics, Statins, and Glucocorticoids All Show Promise
More Than 32% of Patients Responded in Trial