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Jury awards $117 million to man who got cancer from baby powder

Posted on April 17, 2018 in Blog

On April 5, a jury awarded a New Jersey couple $37 million in compensation after finding that Johnson & Johnson baby powder contained asbestos. On April 11, the jury subsequently ordered J&J to pay an additional $80 million in punitive damages. 

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was used as insulation and for other purposes throughout the 20th century. Asbestos proved to be extremely dangerous. Asbestos dust, when inhaled, causes cancer. Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma, the terminal illness for which there is no cure. Thousands of people die every year from mesothelioma.

Tragically, people are still exposed to asbestos. It is mostly known as a danger for construction workers. However, thousands of lawsuits have now been filed against Johnson & Johnson for having asbestos in its products containing talcum powder, including its extremely popular baby powder.

Talc-based products may contain asbestos

Talc, when mined, can be contaminated with asbestos. Talc is used in a variety of products, from makeup to lawn fertilizer. Talcum powder was a main ingredient in Johnson & Johnson baby powder.

People who used baby powder may have an increased risk of getting cancer. 

First trial against Johnson & Johnson over mesothelioma

Johnson & Johnson has also faced thousands of lawsuits over whether its baby powder caused ovarian cancer. However, the recent New Jersey trial was the first of its kind over mesothelioma.

Notably, this decision comes after reports that makeup sold at Claire’s, the teen-oriented makeup and jewelry mall chain, also was contaminated with asbestos. Both Johnson & Johnson and Claire’s have denied their products contain asbestos, despite evidence otherwise.

Johnson & Johnson has said it will appeal the decision.

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