A California jury ruled that Johnson & Johnson is responsible for a woman’s mesothelioma and must pay her $29.4 million, the latest result in a slew of lawsuits against the health and medical manufacturing company.
A Superior Court jury in Oakland favored a California woman, who claimed that both Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based baby powder and the company’s Shower to Shower body powder included asbestos. Using a product that includes asbestos is dangerous since asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma, a rare cancer that kills approximately 3,000 people in the United States each year.
According to a report on Philly.com, the plaintiff’s doctors say she has an advanced form of mesothelioma and likely won’t live beyond 2020. The report states the victim testified during hearings that Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder was used on her as a child. She added that she continued self-applying the baby powder as an adult for cleaning and makeup purposes.
Asbestos and Talc-Based Products
Asbestos can easily contaminate talc since the two minerals are often found near one another. When someone uses a talc-based product that includes asbestos, they may inhale or ingest the harmful substance. Once asbestos fibers enter the body, they can attach to the thin tissue layer protecting the heart, lungs and abdomen. Asbestos buildup along this tissue, often referred to as the mesothelium, irritates the cells, which then mutate and become cancerous.
Numerous manufacturers of talc-inclusive products — such as Claire’s and some of their cosmetic items — have faced legal issues recently due to the link between talc, asbestos and mesothelioma. Johnson & Johnson is at the center of the talc-contamination controversy.
Reuters published a report in December 2018 that revealed Johnson & Johnson knew for many years of asbestos contamination in their talc products. The company’s awareness of the issue and decision not to disclose it to the public is a significant part of why juries have ruled Johnson & Johnson liable in seven trial cases.
The company is the defendant in more than 13,000 lawsuits regarding talc-contaminated products, notably the company’s baby powder. The largest financial compensation in a Johnson & Johnson case is $4.7 billion, which was awarded to 22 women who used the company’s baby powder and developed cancer.
For decades, many companies exposed people to asbestos while not revealing the harmful effects of the substance. Their disregard resulted in many lives lost and families impacted due to mesothelioma. If you have this terrible illness and used or still use a talc-based product, contact a lawyer to discuss your legal options.