A Los Angeles jury awarded $40 million last week to a woman who claimed she got mesothelioma from using Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder. (LosAngeles.CBSLocal.com)
The jury deliberated for a week before reaching the verdict in the asbestos cancer lawsuit brought by Nancy Cabibi. According to court documents, Cabibi was diagnosed with the deadly lung cancer in 2017 and has had surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy.
The woman’s body tissues showed anthophyllite and tremolite asbestos were present. Both forms of asbestos are known to be contaminants of Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. Both products are made by J&J and were used by the plaintiff.
The jury determined that J&J’s talcum powder was defective because it had asbestos in it and this led to her mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lung lining and is almost always fatal.
According to her attorneys, Cabibi is fighting to survive each day because of the dangerous asbestos fibers in J&J’s products.
J&J lawyers argued that Cabibi was exposed to asbestos because she lived in an industrial part of Los Angeles. Her attorneys responded that she never worked or entered any buildings where she could have been exposed to asbestos.
J&J Facing Thousands of Asbestos Cancer Lawsuits
Today Johnson & Johnson is facing at least 14,000 personal injury lawsuits from plaintiffs who claim the company’s baby powder caused them to get mesothelioma or ovarian cancer. Raw talc is mined near asbestos deposits. While J&J claims that it removes all traces of asbestos contaminants from the talc, this has not always been the case.
In earlier lawsuits, J&J company documents were revealed that showed company executives knew about traces of asbestos in some talc and finished powders as early as the 1970s. The executives decided not to inform the public or the FDA.
In another asbestos cancer lawsuit happening this month, a woman from Queens, New York says that J&J gave her cancer. Christine Simpson, 53, filed a $175,000 civil suit alleging that her years of use of baby powder led to her ovarian cancer diagnosis in 1997. She had to undergo chemotherapy and tumor-removal surgery. (Patch.com)
Simpson’s lawsuit points to 20 studies over approximately three decades that have shown a connection between genital talc use to a higher risk of ovarian cancer. One doctor in 1982 recommended that J&J add a warning label to talcum products about cancer risks.
More recently, an analysis in 2013 published in Cancer Preservation Research determined that 20% to 30% of 18,000 women in clinical studies had a higher risk of ovarian cancer from using baby powder on their genitals.
Also, a Harvard Medical School study from the early 1990s showed that 14,000 women die from ovarian cancer annually.
Another J&J Mesothelioma Verdict in September 2019
On the same day that the plaintiff above filed her lawsuit, a New Jersey judge ordered J&J to pay $37 million to several plaintiffs. They said J&J’s baby powder gave them mesothelioma. (APP.com)
The verdict by the New Jersey Superior Court jury came after 60 days of testimony that ended with the judging deleting J&J’s closing argument.
In a statement after the verdict, J&J said it would appeal. The company claimed that the trial had egregious legal and evidentiary errors. J&J said it could not present vital information to the jury, and its entire closing argument being struck was unjust.
The company also stated that its baby powder does not contain asbestos, and it does not cause cancer. But many juries have disagreed with this assessment. J&J continues to bleed cash as more and more juries are finding people can get mesothelioma and ovarian cancer from talcum powder products.
$4.7 Billion Verdict Against J&J in 2018
The worst day in court for J&J was undoubtedly in September 2018 when a St. Louis jury awarded $4.7 billion in damages to 22 women and their loved ones. They said asbestos in the company’s baby powder led to their ovarian cancer. (APP.com)
The jury announced the $4 billion award in punitive damages a few hours after awarding $550 million in compensatory damages.
Medical experts gave testimony in the trial that asbestos, a known human carcinogen, is often mixed with talc in the earth, which is the major ingredient in J&J Baby Powder. Attorneys for the plaintiffs argued that asbestos fibers were found in ovarian tissues of many of the plaintiffs.
As more asbestos cancer verdicts come down against J&J, more cases are being presented in courts across the country. It is becoming clear that Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder is not the pure, wholesome product the company’s marketing department wants us to believe.