A New York state court jury ruled in favor of a woman in her suit against Johnson & Johnson alleging her mesothelioma was caused by her many years of exposure to J&J’s asbestos-containing talc powder. The jury awarded plaintiff Donna Olson, 66, and husband Robert Olson $25 million in compensatory damages – $20 million for her pain and suffering, and $5 million for his loss of consortium. The jury also found Johnson & Johnson’s conduct was wanton and reckless, warranting an award of $300 million in punitive damages.
The lawsuit was filed in 2017, alleging daily use of J&J’s baby powder and scented Shower to Shower products from 1953 through 2015. Donna Olson was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in 2016. As part of her treatment, one of her lungs was removed. She was too ill to attend the trial. Her husband testified that it was her daily ritual to use Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder after she showered.
The jury rejected J&J claims that there was no asbestos in its powders. Instead, the jury found the company had been aware of the presence of asbestos in talcum powder for decades, yet had failed to warn consumers.
Beginning in 2009, lawsuits were filed in state and federal courts throughout the country alleging talc-based powders caused cancer. Trials against Johnson & Johnson alleging its talc-based powders caused cancer first began in 2013. This New York verdict is the 10th win for talc plaintiffs. It is the largest verdict in a claim that J&J talc powder contained asbestos and that asbestos caused the deadly asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma.
Johnson & Johnson announced plans to appeal the verdict. They face over 14,000 talc-related cancer claims according to a regulatory filing in May. In February, J&J received subpoenas from the United States Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission seeking documents on the safety of its talc products.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer after using Johnson & Johnson talc powder (including baby powder and Shower to Shower Powder), you may have a legal claim for damages. Call Thornton Law Firm’s mesothelioma attorneys, Leah McMorris for a confidential, no-obligation 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. Do not delay seeking legal advice. Like all legal claims, talc powder lawsuits have short, strictly enforced time limits for filing.