Johnson & Johnson lost a second [ talc-asbestos mesothelioma trial ] linking baby powder use to deadly asbestos cancer and jurors must next decide whether to punish the company on top of their award of $21.7 million in damages.
Jurors in state court in California concluded Wednesday J&J was liable for Joanne Anderson’s mesothelioma and awarded the 68-year-old compensatory damages. Anderson’s lawyers said she was exposed to baby powder laced with the carcinogen when she used it on her children and while bowling.
It’s the second jury in less than two months to conclude J&J sold its iconic baby powder knowing it contained at least trace amounts of asbestos and posed a cancer risk to users. In April, jurors in J&J’s hometown of New Brunswick, New Jersey, ordered the company and talc miner Imerys SA to pay a total of $117 million to a banker who claimed his cancer was tied to baby powder use.
Jurors in Anderson’s case will consider whether J&J and one of its units should be ordered to pay punishment damages for their failure to warn consumers about the risk of asbestos-laced baby powder. The company maintains the carcinogen has never been found in the product and never will be.
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