A California jury issued a $25.75 million talcum powder verdict against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) this morning, siding with an Oregon woman who claimed that her cancer was caused by J&J baby powder. This case is just one of the many lawsuits alleging health hazards caused by Johnson & Johnson baby powder products.
Plaintiff Joanne Anderson, 66, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against New Jersey-based J&J after developing pleural mesothelioma, a cancer in the lining of the lungs that is linked to asbestos exposure. According to the lawsuit, Anderson used J&J’s baby powder on her children when they were young, and as an avid bowler, on her hands and in her shoes. In total, Anderson estimated that she used J&J baby powder more than 10,000 times.
During the trial, jurors saw internal J&J documents that had never been seen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the public at large. For example, the jury saw that in 1969, a J&J doctor said the company would face litigation if they failed to control mineral contaminants found in the talc mineral used in J&J baby powder products. But rather than pulling its baby powder products from the shelves or replacing the talc mineral with a safer alternative, the lawsuit accused J&J of lying to consumers, concealing data from the FDA and altering reports.
Jury Concludes Johnson &Johnson Was Negligent and Failed to Warn Consumers in Latest Talcum Powder Verdict
The jury concluded that J&J was negligent and failed to warn consumers that its baby powder products contain asbestos and could cause cancer. The talcum powder verdict included $21.75 million in compensatory damages for Mrs. Anderson.
The jury recommended $4 million in punitive damages after finding J&J acted with malice, oppression and fraud, bringing the total verdict to $25.75 million. According to USA Today, J&J was assigned 67 percent of the compensation total, with the remaining amount assigned to other defendants.
Additionally, a juror asked the court whether it could require J&J to put a warning label on its baby powder products in the future.
The Anderson case is one of many cosmetic talc cases that have gone against J&J.
Missouri Talc Case to Start Next Month
Another talc case, this one involving allegations that J&J’s baby powder products caused ovarian cancer, is scheduled to begin next month. Twenty-two plaintiffs in the case allege feminine hygiene use of J&J’s baby powder products caused them to develop ovarian cancer. It is the first Missouri talc case involving more than one plaintiff.
Most of the plaintiffs are not Missouri residents; they come from California, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas. They include a special education teacher, a bus driver and a cashier at Bed, Bath & Beyond. Six of the plaintiffs have passed away from ovarian cancer and several others have spouses with additional claims.
The St. Louis, Missouri case is the second since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court of California threatened to derail a large swath of talcum powder claims against J&J.
The first talcum powder trial in Missouri after the 2017 ruling involved three women who died of ovarian cancer, two of whom were not Missouri residents. That case ended in a mistrial, and the Missouri Supreme Court temporarily stopped a retrial that only involved the claims of the Missouri resident.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Bristol-Myers made it more difficult for nonresidents to file claims in out of state lawsuits and wiped out several notable talcum powder verdicts in Missouri state courts. Some of the cases were moved to the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Johnson & Johnson in New Jersey.
Out of the five talc cases previously heard in Missouri state court, four ended in jury awards for the plaintiffs ranging from $55 million to $110 million. Most of the verdicts have included substantial punitive damages against J&J, as the lawsuits alleged the healthcare giant has known for decades of the link between ovarian cancer and feminine hygiene use of its baby powder products.
According to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), J&J is facing over 9,000 talcum powder lawsuits across the country.
Baby Powder Lawyer Serving Clients Nationwide
If you or a loved one used Johnson & Johnson baby powder for feminine hygiene and were diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you may be eligible to file a talcum powder lawsuit. The law firm of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman is currently representing individuals in talcum powder lawsuits throughout the country.
To speak with an experienced talcum powder lawyer, contact us or call (855) 948-5098 today for a free, no-hassle, no-obligation case evaluation. We can answer any questions you may have about your claim and help you decide whether filing a baby powder lawsuit is the best course of action for you and your family.