J&J ordered to pay $4.69 billion to cancer victims in talcum powder lawsuit
Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $4.69 billion in talcum powder lawsuit
A St. Louis jury returned a $4.69B verdict in favor of 22 women who claimed Johnson and Johnson’s products contained asbestos which caused them to develop cancer.
The verdict is the latest in a series of massive wins for women and their families who have filed cancer-related lawsuits against Johnson and Johnson. In August, 2017, a Los Angeles jury awarded a $417 million verdict in favor of a woman who claimed that Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder caused her to develop ovarian cancer, and in February 2016, a Missouri jury awarded $72 million to the family of a woman died of ovarian cancer after decades of using J&J’s baby powder.
What is talcum powder?
In its natural form, talc (a common ingredient in cosmetic and personal care products, including the popular J&J baby powder) can contain asbestos fibers. Since the 1970s, talc for consumer products is stripped of asbestos. Still, science about the safety of long-term talc exposure is inconclusive, and many companies have switched to cornstarch-based powders.
More than 9,000 plaintiffs have filed suit against Johnson and Johnson in cases involving their talcum powder products. Plaintiffs allege that asbestos in the talc used in products such as J&J Baby Powder and Shower to Shower caused them to develop ovarian cancer. Further, they claim that the company knew about the risks associated with their products and failed to take action or provide any kind of consumer warning. Mark Lanier, the attorney representing the women in this latest verdict, argued that the company had spent decades covering up evidence that its products were potentially harmful.
Johnson and Johnson maintains that their talcum powder products do not contain asbestos and are safe to use. The company plans to appeal the jury’s decision.
As personal injury lawyers who handle cases involving dangerous products, we know how devastating it is when companies prioritize profits over human lives. We also know how complex these cases can be, especially when the evidence goes back decades and the manufacturer involved has seemingly bottomless resources. It has always been our belief that all victims of negligence deserve a chance at justice, and that the powerful should be held accountable when their actions harm someone else.
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