Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a California jury to pay $4 million to a woman who claimed she developed cancer after being exposed to asbestos in its talc powder. The decision came on top of the $21.7 million compensatory damages the court awarded to Joanne Anderson, pushing the total amount of damage award to $25.7 million on May 23.
Asbestos-Laced Talcum Powder
According to her lawyers, Anderson came in contact with the asbestos-laced powder when she used it in her shoes and hands when bowling. She also used it on her children when they were younger as most mothers would.
She was later diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer that is largely linked to asbestos exposure. The jury deliberated that J&J was 67% responsible for the 68-year-old’s cancer while companies including Fel-Proo, Borg Warner and Honeywell/Bendix are charged for the rest.
In defense, J&J reiterated that its talc is asbestos-free, citing years-worth of testing that found no asbestos in the world-famous J&J’s baby powder. J&J spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said they were disappointed with the verdict and would appeal.
“We will continue to defend the safety of our product because it does not contain asbestos or cause mesothelioma,’’ CNN quoted Goodrich in a statement.
“Over the past 50 years, multiple independent, non-litigation driven scientific evaluations have been conducted by respected academic institutions and government bodies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and none have found that the talc in Johnson’s Baby Powder contains asbestos.”
The case marks the second time J&J lost a trial over similar allegations.
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