June 5, 2019 — A jury in New York City has slammed Johnson & Jonson with a $325 million verdict in favor of a woman who developed mesothelioma after using baby powder.
The woman, Donna Olson, was too sick to attend the trial. She was diagnosed with aggressive pleural mesothelioma in 2016 and recently had surgery to remove her diseased lung.
Her husband testified that she regularly used Johnson’s Baby Powder before developing cancer.
After a 4-month trial, the jury awarded $20 million in compensation for her pain and suffering, $5 million to her husband for loss of consortium, and $300 million in punitive damages.
Her attorneys showed the jury evidence that J&J was aware of asbestos contamination in its talcum powder products as early as the 1960s and 1970s.
Instead of putting warning labels on talc products or switching to cornstarch, J&J changed their testing methods to stop detecting asbestos — and then misled regulators with results from the new tests.
The jury concluded that Olson’s mesothelioma was likely caused by years of using baby powder and breathing asbestos particles in the air.
A spokeswoman for J&J said the company plans to appeal the verdict. The company is currently facing over 14,000 lawsuits from people who developed mesothelioma or ovarian cancer after using talc products.
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