$25.7 Million in Damages Against J&J in Second Asbestos Talc Case

Mesothelioma and talcum powder

May 23, 2018. J&J lost a second mesothelioma lawsuit in which the Plaintiff claimed she developed cancer after being exposed to asbestos in its baby powder product.

Jury Awards Compensatory + Punitive Damages

The Plaintiff, Joanne Anderson, developed mesothelioma, an extremely deadly form of lung cancer, after having used J&J’s baby powder product on herself for two decades. Talc products, known for their ability to absorb moisture and provide lubrication at the same time, are a useful product for bowlers, like Anderson who claimed she went through two bottles a month during that time.

The jury ended up awarding $21.7 million in compensatory damages to Anderson. In addition, J&J was ordered to pay $4 million in punitive damages after the jury concluded the company acted with malice, oppression or fraud, raising the total to $25.7 million. Although Anderson’s lawsuit included Imerys, Cyprus Amax Minerals, Honeywell International and other local talc suppliers, the jury held J&J responsible for 67% of the $21.7 million verdict.

The first asbestos-related talcum powder lawsuit was in April of this year where a New Jersey court found in favor of the Plaintiff and ordered both J&J and its talc supplier to pay $117 million in damages.

Similarly, Anderson’s lawsuit claimed that J&J failed to adequately warn consumers that its baby powder product contains asbestos and could cause cancer.

Talcum Powder Lawsuits

Currently there is no warning on the product; however, even the jury tried to send a message that they felt one was needed when they asked the judge if they could force the company to warn consumers that the powder could be contaminated with asbestos. Unfortunately, the court does not have the power to order a company to add or change warnings on its products.

In addition to the mesothelioma lawsuits, J&J faces roughly 6,000 cases alleging that its talc products are connected to ovarian cancer.

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