A California jury has awarded a woman $29 million on her claim that asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talc products caused her cancer. This case is the latest in a string of defeats for the consumer and pharmaceutical product company, which faces thousands of similar lawsuits in courts across the country.
Teresa Leavitt, the woman at the center of the case, argued that Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder was a substantial contributing factor in causing her mesothelioma. Because of her cancer, the mother of two is not expected to live past 2020. Though Ms. Leavitt testified that she stopped using J&J’s Baby Powder decades ago, recent tests revealed that she had asbestos in her lungs. J&J argued that there was no credible evidence that their products caused Ms. Leavitt’s cancer and that the asbestos could have come from other sources.
A jury in the Alameda County Superior Court ultimately agreed with Ms. Leavitt and found Johnson & Johnson liable for harm that Leavitt suffered due to her cancer.
J&J disputes the verdict, citing “serious procedural and evidentiary errors,” and plans to appeal. In a statement issued Wednesday, the company continued to maintain that its products are safe: “We respect the legal process and reiterate that jury verdicts are not medical, scientific or regulatory conclusions about a product.” A Reuters investigation of J&J’s internal documents in December 2018 suggested that the company has known for decades that its talc products contained asbestos and failed to disclose that information to the public. J&J has refused to place any kind of warning label on their products.
This verdict marks J&J’s seventh trial loss in claims related to its talcum powder products. The company’s stock has responded in kind, dropping nearly two percent in after-hours trading following the latest verdict. More than two dozen additional trials are scheduled for this year over J&J’s talc products.
Free Case Evaluation
Get in touch with our lawyers for a free and confidential case review by calling us toll free at 1 (888) 402-5552 or by filling out the form below.
DISCLAIMER: No attorney client relationship will exist between you and our firm until we enter into a signed Retainer/Services Agreement. Completion of this document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a Retainer/Services Agreement. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. In some jurisdictions this website may be considered lawyer advertising. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Click here for more information.
Back To More Articles