Johnson & Johnson, as well as other manufacturers of talc powder products, are facing several lawsuits, all claiming that the product leads to cancer with prolonged use. There have been reports that the company hid asbestos contamination in their talc beginning in the 1970s and lasting through the 2000s. Several thousand women have claimed that use of the baby powder on or around their genitals led to them developing ovarian cancer. Several other women have claimed that the inhalation of the baby powder led to them developing mesothelioma, a kind of cancer linked to asbestos. In one recent case regarding mesothelioma, a California jury agreed, as Fortune reports.
The lawsuit filed by Teresa Leavitt against pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson alleged that asbestos contamination in their baby powder led to her contracting the deadly cancer mesothelioma.
On March 14th, a jury in Oakland, California awarded Leavitt $29 million.
A spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson said that it plans to appeal the verdict.
This is not the first multimillion-dollar verdict that juries have handed down against the company. In 2018, a Missouri jury awarded a record $4.69 billion to 22 women who all claimed that they developed cancer as a result of lifetime use of the baby powder.
Johnson & Johnson also faces an additional 11,000 to 13,000 similar lawsuits. The lawsuits and reports of internal memos detailing knowledge of asbestos contamination have also prompted a government investigation. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Justice Department are investigating the company regarding disclosures that the company was aware of asbestos contamination.
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