On the heels of a $117 million New Jersey verdict against Johnson & Johnson, saying asbestos-contaminated talc in their popular baby powder product caused a man’s mesothelioma, a California jury has delivered a second stunning verdict against the company. Joanne Anderson, a 68-year-old woman, has been awarded $21.7 million in compensatory damages by a Los Angeles jury that agreed with her claim that the company had been negligent for her diagnosis with the rare and fatal form of cancer. The jury will soon decide whether to hold the company and their co-defendants responsible for punitive damages as well.
According to her testimony, Mrs. Anderson’s mesothelioma came after she had used Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder for over thirty years. She indicated that she had used it on her children when they were little in the 1970s, and then continued using it herself through the 1980s and 1990s, purchasing as many as two bottles per month. The jury’s verdict assessed Johnson & Johnson with 67% responsibility for Mrs. Anderson’s mesothelioma, and the other defendants, including Imerys SA, Cyprus Amax Minerals, and Honeywell International, will split the balance.
The companies defended themselves by claiming that there was no evidence that Johnson & Johnson talc had ever contained asbestos, and claiming that because Mrs. Anderson’s family had a history of breast and lung cancer she might have developed mesothelioma spontaneously. Her attorneys responded by offering information on the scientifically proven causes of mesothelioma, as well as providing evidence that Johnson & Johnson had been aware of the risk of asbestos in their talc product decades earlier.
Mesothelioma is not the only asbestos-related condition that Johnson & Johnson’s baby product is being blamed for. The company has already lost several cases accusing their talc products of causing ovarian cancer, and there are another 6,600 ovarian cancer cases pending against the company.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and you suspect that it may have come from your use of talcum powder products, you are not alone. Contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608 for more information on resources available to your.