Mesh Medical Device News Desk, October 11, 2018 ~ J&J has won a talcum powder case in New Jersey, filed by a woman who claims the asbestos in the powder gave her mesothelioma.
J&J Wins Mesothelioma Talcum Powder case in NJ
A talcum powder case being heard in a New Jersey court has resulted in verdict for Johnson & Johnson.
Rosalind Henry and her husband alleged her mesothelioma was caused by the asbestos contained in the company’s talcum powder. There are more than 10,000 similar defective product cases filed around the U.S. over the company’s talcum products.
In July one of the largest jury awards ever, plaintiffs in a St. Louis court were awarded $4.7 billion by jurors. That included $500 million in damages and an additional $4.14 billion in punitive damages.
The trial was held in Middlesex County Superior Court within miles of the headquarters of J&J in New Brunswick, NJ.
Lawyers for Ms. Henry said J&J has known for decades that its talc contained asbestos fibers but hid that from consumers. They allege asbestos fibers came from cosmetic talcum powder (Cashmere Bouquet made by Colgate-Palmolive), while she used J&J Baby Powder to diaper her children.
Colgate Palmolive settled before the opening of the trial.
“We continue to believe that Johnson and Johnson’s internal documents show that the talc it sourced from Vermont is contaminated with asbestos, and we will continue to push these cases to trial every chance we get,” her lawyers said in an email to Law.com.
J&J has had four mistrial in similar cases but in April it lost a similar trial in New Jersey where the jury awarded $117 million to a man suffering from mesothelioma and his wife.
A California case in May ended with a jury award to the plaintiff of $25.7 million. She too was diagnosed with mesothelioma.
These trials differ from those that allege J&J’s talcum powder and Shower-to-shower caused ovarian cancer. There have been five verdicts for the plaintiffs in those cases ranging from $55 million to $4.7 billion, reports Law.com.
Even today, there is no warning on J&J’s baby powder about the risk of ovarian cancer. A brand of baby powder sold by Dollar Tree, Angel of Mine and another from Walmart, spring Fresh Powder both have explicit warnings on the label about use of talcum powder in the female genital area and the increased risk of ovarian cancer.
Ms. Henry was represented by Christopher Swett with Motley Rice, while Diane Sullivan and Allison Brown represented J&J.
New Jersey Law Journal has more.