Jury Awards $29.4 Million in Talcum-Cancer Trial

Jury Awards $29.4 Million in Talcum-Cancer Trial

Jury Awards $29.4 Million in Talcum-Cancer Trial

Most health-care companies performed well, but Johnson & Johnson struggled with claims that its talc baby powder contained the carcinogen asbestos.

Wednesday's verdict, in California superior court in Oakland, marks the latest defeat for the healthcare conglomerate facing more than 13,000 talc-related lawsuits nationwide.

J&J faces thousands of lawsuits alleging its talc-based products harmed consumers.

Plaintiff Teresa Leavitt is a mother of two who said J&J's talc products were used on her as a child, and she used it herself into adulthood, Bloomberg reports.

A jury in Missouri previous year awarded US$4.69 billion to 22 women.

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. There are more than a dozen cases scheduled for 2019 alone.

A court in the U.S. state of California ordered Johnson & Johnson to compensate a woman to the tune of $29 million for cancer complications she developed from using the company's talcum powder. "The jury verdicts are not medical, scientific or regulatory conclusions about a product", it said.

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A J&J spokeswoman said the company is "disappointed with today's verdict and will pursue an appeal because Johnson's Baby Powder does not contain asbestos or cause cancer". "We believe these issues will warrant a reversal on appeal".

'Yet another jury has rejected J&J´s misleading claims that its talc was free of asbestos, ' said Moshe Maimon, a lawyer for Leavitt, in a statement on Wednesday.

"Hundreds of internal J&J documents showed the truth that it has been hiding for years".

Nonetheless, 2018 investigations from the New York Times and Reuters suggested that the company feared for decades that some of its Baby Powder could be tainted by asbestos, a type of carcinogenic mineral that has been linked to cancers of lungs, larynx and ovaries, as well as mesothelioma, according to the National Cancer Institute. J&J denies that its talc powder contains asbestos or is responsible for health problems. It found no asbestos in any of them.

Another juror, Anu Agarwal, a product manager in Castro Valley, said J&J was irresponsible for failing to adequately follow up on studies that showed the presence of asbestos in Baby Powder.

A Mount Sinai researcher wrote in a company letter in 1971 that he had detected a "relatively small" amount of asbestos in the baby powder.

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