A California jury on Wednesday has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $29 million to a woman who alleges that the asbestos contained in the company's talcum-powder-based products, caused her cancer. This isn’t the first time, the pharmaceutical company has come under fire for its products. In July 2018, a jury in Missouri ordered the pharmaceutical company to pay $4.7 billion in damages to 22 women who alleged that they had developed ovarian cancer after using the company’s talc products.
Following the allegations by several women, the US Food and Drug Administration had commissioned a study of a variety of talc samples, including Johnson & Johnson’s, from 2009 to 2010. It has then stated that the products had no asbestos in any of them though the prosecution lawyer told the Missouri court that the FDA and Johnson & Johnson had used flawed testing methods.
Terry Leavitt, the petitioner said she used Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower during the 1960s and 1970s before being diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2017. The verdict issued by the California Superior Court in Oakland marks the latest defeat for the pharmaceutical company, which, which, according to reports face more than 13,000 talc-related lawsuits nationwide.
J&J said it was disappointed with the verdict and would appeal, citing "serious procedural and evidentiary errors" in the course of the trial.
“We respect the legal process and reiterate that jury verdicts are not medical, scientific or regulatory conclusions about a product,” Johnson & Johnson said in a statement.
The jury deliberated for two days before delivering its verdict, which was broadcast online by Courtroom View Network.