Johnson & Johnson reached a confidential settlement resolving an Oklahoma lawsuit alleging its iconic baby powder caused a 77-year-old woman to develop a rare cancer connected to asbestos exposure.
The accord comes the same day the company was cleared by a New Jersey jury of a similar claim and two weeks after a jury in Oakland, California, awarded $29 million to a dying woman who blamed asbestos in J&J talc for causing her cancer.
It’s unusual for J&J, which is facing thousands of talc-related damage lawsuits, to resolve them during or before trial. The company in December reached a confidential settlement in a New York case headed for trial.
The Oklahoma City plaintiff, Sharon Pipes, was diagnosed in 2017 with peritoneal mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the abdomen, an illness generally connected to asbestos exposure. She used Johnson & Johnson’s talc products for 50 years, her attorneys said at trial.
Oklahoma District Judge Susan Stallings announced the settlement to the courtroom Wednesday after jurors had been deliberating for more than three hours. When one juror asked what the settlement was, the judge answered, “It’s confidential.”