J&J hit with $3.69 billion verdict in tainted talcum powder case

17 Jul 2018 by under Legal

talc justice 100x100 J&J hit with $3.69 billion verdict in tainted talcum powder caseA group of 22 women who sued alleging its talcum powder products were tainted with asbestos and contributed to the development of ovarian cancer, were awarded a staggering $4.69 billion by a St. Louis jury.

Jurors handed down $550 million in actual damages – about $25 million per woman in the suit – plus an additional $3.15 billion against Johnson & Johnson and $900 million against Johnson & Johnson Consumer.

Just days before the case went to trial, Johnson & Johnson’s talc supplier, , which was also named in the suit, settled with the women for an undisclosed amount, leaving Johnson & Johnson responsible for the total verdict.

The consumer health care giant was sued by 22 women – six of whom died before the case went to trial. They alleged that Johnson & Johnson knew that its talc-containing products contained cancer-causing asbestos but failed to warn consumers. Instead, they marketed their products, like Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder, as safe for everyday use. The company even encouraged women to use the powder on their genitals for feminine hygiene.

Yet, the women alleged, using the powder for feminine hygiene allowed the talc to travel up the vagina through the fallopian tubes and embed in the ovaries, causing cancer.

In April, Johnson & Johnson was hit with a $117 million verdict in a case that alleged regular use of the company’s talc products caused a man to develop mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Imerys was found liable for 30 percent of the damages and Johnson & Johnson was saddled with 70 percent of the blame.


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