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By Leah M. McMorris and Leslie-Anne Taylor

Posted on March 19, 2019

A California jury awarded $29 million to a woman dying from mesothelioma cancer in her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, attributing her development of the asbestos-linked cancer to her use of J&J baby powder.

Plaintiff Teresa Leavitt, the mother of two children, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2017. She is not expected to live beyond 2020, according to testimony of her doctors. The jury awarded her $2.49 million in past and future lost economic damages as well as $22 million for noneconomic damages past and future. Her husband was awarded $5 million for loss of consortium. No punitive damages were awarded.

Ms. Leavitt testified that baby powder was used on her when she was a child. As an adult, she continued to use J&J baby powder, as a “dry shampoo” or on her face as a foundation for her makeup.

Her lawyers introduced evidence that Johnson & Johnson learned of the presence of asbestos in talc mined in Vermont and Italy, but never alerted government regulators or consumers. No warning label about the presence or hazards of asbestos has ever been placed on Johnson & Johnson talc powders, including J&J Shower to Shower and baby powders.

The jury found J&J’s actions a substantial contributing factor in causing Leavitt’s mesothelioma. They also found that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn her of the cancer risk in using their products and intentionally withheld facts about the safety of their product. . The state court jury of seven men and five women included an attorney and a state court judge.

The plaintiffs were represented by trial attorneys Joseph Satterley and Denyse Clancy of Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood, Oakland, California, and Moshe Maimon of Levy Konigsberg LLP, New York, New York.

Johnson & Johnson has announced plans to appeal the verdict. It faces another 13,000 similar cases across the country.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson talc powder (including baby powder and Shower to Shower Powder), you may have a legal claim. Call Thornton Law Firm’s baby powder attorneys, female mesothelioma lawyers Marilyn McGoldrick, Leah McMorris and Leslie-Anne Taylor for a confidential, free evaluation of your legal rights at 1-888-341-1405. Or tell us your story here to discuss your legal claim and how you should proceed.