Hygiene company Johnson & Johnson will pay US $ 29 million to a woman who alleges that asbestos found in their talc-based products, including baby powder, is causing her cancerous tumor with ovaries.
The California Superior Court verdict in Oakland marks a further defeat for the company, which faces more than 13,000 lawsuits over asbestos-contaminated talcum powder.
According to the accusations, the company has deliberately concealed the fact that its baby powder, Johnson & Johnson’s long-time star product, and other cosmetics made from talc are harmful to health.
The instigator of this lawsuit, Terry Leavitt, was one of the first to be heard in a dozen lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson scheduled this year.
Like her, several complainants claim that the products had been contaminated by asbestos since the 1970s and that their use is at the root of their ovarian cancer.
The trial, which lasted nine weeks, began on January 7th. During the sessions, the members of the jury heard testimony from a dozen experts called by both the complainant and the company. After two days of deliberations, the jurors delivered their verdict.
Disappointed, Johnson & Johnson indicated its intention to appeal the jury’s decision, citing “serious errors” regarding “the evidence and the proceedings”.
The company based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, denies claims that its talcum powder causes cancer. Citing numerous studies and tests conducted by regulatory agencies around the world, Johnson & Johnson ensures that talc does not contain asbestos and is completely safe.
According to Bloomberg, the company saw its stock fall by 2% on the New York Stock Exchange after the announcement of the verdict to reach $ 136.40 US. At the close of trading on Wednesday, it was valued at US $ 139.41.
In July 2018, a Missouri court also ruled in favor of the plaintiffs,forcing Johnson & Johnson to pay them 4.69 billion US dollars. When the verdict was handed down, 6 of the 22 women who had dragged the company to court had already died of ovarian cancer.
Joe Peterson was born and raised in San Francisco. He has contributed to Discovery Magazine, Cottage Country Magazine and Tech Insider. As a journalist for Swerd Media, Joe mostly covers national news. Aside from earning a living as a freelance journalist, Joe also spends much of his time training for ultra running.