Johnson & Johnson Hit With $25.7M in Talcum Powder Mesothelioma Verdict
On Thursday, May 24, a California jury awarded over $25 million to a California plaintiff who claimed that her malignant mesothelioma was caused in part by exposure to asbestos in Johnson & Johnson (J&J) baby powder. Of the $25.7 million award, $4 million was assessed in punitive damages to J&J. According to the verdict form, the punitive damages were warranted because the company acted with “malice, oppression or fraud.” J&J plans to appeal this verdict.
What Plaintiffs Claim
Plaintiffs Joanne and Gary Anderson filed a complaint in June 2017 claiming Joanne developed malignant mesothelioma because of her exposure to asbestos in the products J&J sold. Joanne used J&J baby powder on her children and on her own hands and shoes since she was an avid bowler. The jury found Johnson & Johnson 67 percent responsible for the cancer and the rest was attributed to Joanne’s exposure to asbestos while her husband did automotive work in her presence.
What the Jury Found
While deliberating, the jury asked the court if they could disregard monetary punitive damages and instead punish J&J by requiring them to add a warning label to its talc products. The Anderson’s lawyer believes the jury was questioning J&J’s conduct and trying to prevent this from happening to others. Unfortunately, the court ruled the jury could not require J&J to change their label.
This is the second trial in the last two months that a jury has punished J&J with punitive damages for claims that its talc-based baby powder contains asbestos and contributed to the plaintiffs’ development of mesothelioma.
GoldenbergLaw is currently investigating claims in which an individual contracted mesothelioma or ovarian cancer as a result of using Johnson & Johnson baby powder. Contact GoldenbergLaw for a free case evaluation. There’s no fee unless we recover.