Baby powder giant ordered to pay cancer victim $41m after ‘asbestos’ claims

A California jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $41 million to a woman who said that asbestos in the company’s talcum-powder-based products, including Johnson’s Baby Powder, caused her mesothelioma.

The verdict marks the latest defeat for the healthcare conglomerate, which faces more than 13,000 talc-related lawsuits nationwide.

Johnson & Johnson said it was disappointed with the verdict and would appeal, citing “serious procedural and evidentiary errors” in the course of the trial.

The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company denies that its talc causes cancer, saying numerous studies and tests by regulators worldwide have shown that its talc is safe and asbestos-free.

The lawsuit, brought by Terry Leavitt, was the first of more than a dozen Johnson & Johnson talc cases scheduled for trial in 2019. The nine-week trial included testimony from nearly a dozen experts on both sides.

The jury deliberated for two days before delivering its verdict, which was broadcast online.