A jury of California awarded more than $29 Mn to a woman who commented that asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder-based products caused cancer.
The decision, in the Superior Court of California in Oakland, marks the current defeat for the healthcare company facing greater than 14,000 talc-related lawsuits worldwide.
Johnson & Johnson said it will demand, quoting “severe procedural and evidentiary issues” in the trial’s sequence, claiming that lawyers for a woman had basically unsuccessful in showing the baby powder contains asbestos. The company further did not deliver the details of the unproven errors during the trial.
J&J claimed that “We respect the legal process and reiterate that jury verdicts are not medical, scientific or regulatory conclusions about a product”.
New Brunswick, a company based in New Jersey refuses to accept that their talc causes cancer, describing various tests and studies by regulators across the globe showing that their talc is safe and asbestos-free.
The company was registered by Terry Leavitt, claiming that she used Shower to Shower and Johnson’s Baby Powder containing talc sold by J&J in 1970s and was diagnosed in 2017 with mesothelioma. It was the first of greater than a dozen of J&J talc cases arranged for a trail in 2019.
The jury took total two days before conveying their verdict that was broadcast online by Courtroom View Network.
Jury member established that J&J’s talc-based products used by Leavitt were faulty and that company was unsuccessful in warning their customers of the health hazards, awarding more than $30 Mn in damages to Leavitt and her husband. The jury refused to award the punitive damages.
A lawyer for Leavitt, Moshe Maimon claimed that “Yet another jury has rejected J&J’s misleading claims that its talc was free of asbestos”. “The internal J&J documents that the jury saw, once more laid bare the shocking truth of decades of cover-up, deception and concealment by J&J.”
Leavitt’s trial initially involved Imerys Talc America, a unit of Imerys SE, J&J’s talc supplier, as a co-defendant. Judge of the Superior Court of California, Brad Seligman, supervised the trial, informed jury members that the company was not the under the case as it trailed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection beneath the mass of talc litigation, continued the court case against it.