Johnson And Johnson Ordered To Pay $29 Million In Talc Cancer Trial

14 Mars, 2019, 13:22 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • A container of Johnson's baby powder made by Johnson and Johnson

Johnson & Johnson must pay US$29 million (about NZ$42m) to a woman who claimed its baby powder gave her terminal cancer, a U.S. jury has ruled. This is the latest development in over 13,000 lawsuits the company is facing across the US.

Her suit is one of many that link cancers to asbestos in Johnson & Johnson's talc-based products and contend that the company concealed the health risk for decades.

Terry Leavitt had brought on the lawsuit against J&J and said she used the company's Baby Powder and Shower to Shower in the 1960s and 1970s and was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2017, Reuters reported. The verdict said that the baby powder was a "substantial contributing factor" in her illness.

The nine-week trial that began on January 7 involved a jury that deliberated for two days before delivering the verdict in California Superior Court in Oakland, the report said.

The jury deliberated for two days before delivering its verdict, which was broadcast online by Courtroom View Network.

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The company has insisted that its talc-based products are demonstrably safe but it has lost a string of court cases. The jury declined to award punitive damages.

Leavitt's trial originally included J&J's talc supplier, Imerys Talc America, a unit of Imerys SE, as a co-defendant. California Superior Court Judge Brad Seligman, who oversaw the trial, told jurors in February that the company was no longer part of the case after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under the weight of the talc litigation, which stayed lawsuits against it.

In 11 cases so far, three have resulted in wins for plaintiffs, awarding damages as high as $4.69bn in a July 2018 multi-plaintiff ovarian cancer verdict. J&J won three other cases and another five ended in hung juries.

The company has appealed against all of the plaintiff verdicts, and the company said it was confident the verdicts would be overturned on appeal.

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