Johnson & Johnson, the famous baby brand, came under federal investigation recently due to concerns about the purity of their baby powder.
It was alleged that their powder could contain traces of asbestos, which is a known human carcinogen. You can read more on that here.
The update? Things just keep on getting worse. The latest blow for the healthcare conglomerate, who are facing more than 13 000 talcum-related lawsuits in America, came on Wednesday in California.
According to Reuters, a California jury awarded $29,4 million (roughly R425 million) to a woman who said that asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talcum-powder-based products caused her cancer.
J&J said it would appeal, citing “serious procedural and evidentiary errors” in the course of the trial, saying lawyers for the woman had fundamentally failed to show its baby powder contains asbestos. The company did not provide further details of the alleged errors during the trial.
“We respect the legal process and reiterate that jury verdicts are not medical, scientific or regulatory conclusions about a product,” J&J said in a statement on Wednesday.
The company denies that its talcum powder causes cancer, citing numerous studies and tests by regulators worldwide.
The lawsuit was brought by Terry Leavitt, who said she used Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower – another powder containing talc sold by J&J in the past – in the 1960s and 1970s and was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2017.
It was the first of more than a dozen J&J talc cases scheduled for trial in 2019. The nine-week trial began on Jan. 7 and included testimony from nearly a dozen experts on both sides.
The jury deliberated for two days before finding that Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products, used by Leavitt, were defective. They found that the company had failed to warn consumers of the health risks, and awarded $29,4 million in damages to Leavitt and her husband.
Out of the 11 cases brought against the company, three have resulted in wins for plaintiffs.
So, at this stage, it’s probably best to avoid their talcum powder.
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