Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Woman awarded $29m in damages in Johnson & Johnson cancer case

Woman awarded $29m in damages in Johnson & Johnson cancer case

Johnson & Johnson is facing some 13,000 similar lawsuits around the country.

"We respect the legal process and reiterate that jury verdicts are not medical, scientific or regulatory conclusions about a product", J&J said in a statement on Wednesday, adding that lawyers for the woman had fundamentally failed to show its baby powder contained asbestos.

The California Superior Court in Oakland agreed that the company's baby powder was a "substantial contributing factor" to her mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer caused by the inhalation of asbestos.

Wednesday's ruling also comes about a year after 22 women were awarded $4.7 billion from the company after they claimed the company's products caused them to develop ovarian cancer.

Despite that the company has lost court cases. It has more than two dozen trials scheduled around the USA this year.

In a statement, the company said it was disappointed in the verdict, and planned to appeal "because Johnson's Baby Powder does not contain asbestos or cause cancer".

A court in the USA 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.

A California jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $29 million to a woman with mesothelioma who claimed that asbestos in the conglomerate's talcum powder products caused her cancer. The company has successfully persuaded courts to overturn previous jury verdicts. "We believe these issues will warrant a reversal on appeal".

Joseph Satterley, Leavitt's lawyer, said "another jury has rejected the decades-long deception by Johnson & Johnson claiming that their baby powder was free of asbestos". And in 1973, when the FDA considered a rule that required all cosmetics to contain no more than.01 percent asbestos, a scientist wrote in an internal note, "we may have problems", the report alleged.

While asbestos is classified as a known carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and other groups, the ACS says the science on whether talcum powder causes cancer is more ambiguous.

Leavitt's was the first talc case to go to trial since Reuters on December 14 published a report detailing that J&J knew that the talc in its raw and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos from the 1970s into the early 2000s - test results it did not disclose to regulators or consumers. They said their baby powder "is safe and asbestos-free".

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