Jury awards $29M in Johnson & Johnson baby powder cancer case

Cornelia Mascio
Marzo 14, 2019

The New Jersey-based company is likely to appeal the verdict, which was made in California Superior Court in Oakland.

A United States jury on Wednesday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $29 million (Rs 202 crore) to a woman diagnosed with cancer, who alleged that the asbestos in the firm's talcum-powder-based products caused her disease, Reuters reported.

J&J said it would appeal, citing "serious procedural and evidentiary errors" in the course of the trial, saying lawyers for the woman had fundamentally failed to show its baby powder contains asbestos. This is the latest development in over 13,000 lawsuits the company is facing across the US. The company did not provide further details of the alleged errors. The verdict said that the baby powder was a "substantial contributing factor" in her illness.

Her suit is one of many that link cancers to asbestos in Johnson & Johnson's talc-based products and contend that the company concealed the health risk for decades.

The lawsuit, brought by Terry Leavitt, was the first of more than a dozen J&J talc cases scheduled for trial in 2019.

The nine-week trial that began on January 7 involved a jury that deliberated for two days before delivering the verdict in California Superior Court in Oakland, the report said.

The jury deliberated for two days before delivering its verdict.

J&J denies allegations that its talc causes cancer, saying numerous studies and tests by regulators worldwide have shown that its talc is safe and asbestos-free.

Leavitt's trial originally included Johnson & Johnson talc supplier, Imerys Talc America, a unit of Imerys SE, as a co-defendant. J&J won three other cases and another five ended in hung juries. "We respect the legal process and reiterate that jury verdicts are not medical, scientific or regulatory conclusions about a product", the company said.

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