Baby Powder Link to Asbestos Cancer Leads to $21.7 Million Verdict
Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder is the subject of multiple lawsuits alleging a link to ovarian cancer. However, a verdict in California opens up a new front in the legal battle, namely the potential Baby Powder link to asbestos cancer.
This week a jury in California slapped a $21.7 million verdict on J&J in a trial over its talc baby powder and a possible link to mesothelioma, cancer caused by asbestos.
Plaintiff Joanne Anderson claimed she developed malignant mesothelioma after she was exposed to asbestos from products sold by Johnson & Johnson.
The 68-year-old woman was awarded compensatory damages. Her attorney said she was exposed to baby powder containing the carcinogen.
The verdict is significant because it’s the second in as many months to conclude J&J sold baby powder knowing it contained trace amounts of asbestos which posed a cancer risk to users.
In April, jurors in New Jersey, ordered J&J and a unit of Imerys SA, a talc miner, to stump up $117 million to a man who claimed a Baby Powder link to asbestos cancer.
In Anderson’s case, jurors will consider whether J&J and a subsidiary should be ordered to pay punitive damages over their failure to warn users about the risk of baby powder containing asbestos. The giant pharmaceutical company maintains the carcinogen has never been found in the product. It cites years of testing by independent laboratories and scientists.
Plaintiffs allege that asbestos and talc are closely linked minerals that get mixed together in the mining process, making it impossible to remove the dangerous asbestos.
Lawsuits linking Baby Powder to mesothelioma are relatively recent. However, the product is the subject of thousands of lawsuits from women who claim talc gave them ovarian cancer.
The American Cancer Society highlights a potential link between talcum powder and cancer of the ovaries when powder particles travel through the vagina and reach the ovaries.
Last year, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $417 million in damages to medical receptionist Eva Echeverria who developed ovarian cancer after using Baby Powder for decades.
However, the verdict was later dismissed by a judge who ruled Echeverria, who is now dead from cancer, did not adequately establish that talc causes ovarian cancer.
Echeverria, 63, from Los Angeles, was one of thousands of women who sued Johnson & Johnson claiming talc caused their disease. Her lawyers pointed to studies linking talc to cancer as far back as 1971 when scientists in the United Kingdom discovered particles of talc embedded in ovarian and cervical tumors.
Johnson & Johnson is facing claims by more than 9,000 plaintiffs. These cases primarily link talc to ovarian cancer, according to a recent securities filing. The company has not broken down the number of ovarian cancer cases versus the number of mesothelioma cases tied to Baby Powder.
We are deeply concerned by the apparent Baby Powder link to asbestos cancer. The big drug companies routinely override the safety of people who use their products in the interests of profits. Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder seemed like an innocuous product until the reports of cancer started surfacing.
Now we are reading about women and men who claim to have contracted life-threatening cancers due to using this product. If you believe your health has been impacted by Baby Powder, please call our Virginia legal team at (757) 455-0077.