Talc-Based Powder in Various BottlesIn September 2019, two juries ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay millions in damages after finding that the company’s talcum powder caused the plaintiffs’ mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that develops in the thin layer of tissue that surrounds internal organs, known as the mesothelium. According to the Mayo Clinic and the American Cancer Society, most cases of mesothelioma are caused by asbestos exposure.

There is no screening test for mesothelioma, and this type of cancer is often diagnosed once symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, have started. The five-year survival rate is only about 9%.

CA Jury Awards Plaintiffs $40.3 Million in Talcum Powder Case

Nancy Cabibi was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2017. Ms. Cabibi needed surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy to treat her cancer. Her body contained tremolite and anthophyllite asbestos, which she alleged she got from Johnson & Johnson’s talcum-based baby powder and Shower to Shower products. Ms. Cabibi and her husband Phil filed a lawsuit seeking damages from Johnson & Johnson.

Lawyers for Johnson & Johnson did not dispute that Ms. Cabibi was exposed to asbestos or that she had mesothelioma from asbestos exposure. Instead, they alleged that Ms. Cabibi was exposed to asbestos because she lived in an industrial area of Los Angeles.

After six days of deliberation, the jury found that Ms. Cabibi’s mesothelioma was caused by her use of Johnson & Johnson baby powder and Shower to Shower products. The jury awarded Nancy and Phil Cabibi $40.3 million in damages for the harm caused by Johnson & Johnson products.

NJ Jury Awards Plaintiffs at least $37.2 Million in Talcum Powder Case

Around the same time that the Cabibi case was being heard in California, a New Jersey court was hearing the case of Douglas Barden (age 65), David Etheridge (age 57), Will Ronning (age 46), and D’Angela McNeill-George (age 41). The plaintiffs alleged that their parents used Johnson & Johnson talcum-based baby powder and Shower to Shower products on them as children and that they all developed mesothelioma as a result.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers argued that:

  • Johnson & Johnson talcum-based baby powder and Shower to Shower products contained talc that was tainted with asbestos when it was mined in places like Italy and Vermont
  • Johnson & Johnson knew that the talc contained trace amounts of asbestos since at least the late 1960s
  • Johnson & Johnson failed to warn consumers and regulators about the possible risks of its products

After the trial, the jury awarded the plaintiffs $37.2 million in actual damages. Punitive damages will be decided in a separate proceeding and could result in a significantly higher award for the plaintiffs.

Get Help if You Have Mesothelioma from Talcum Powder Use

A mesothelioma diagnosis is devastating. You never worked with asbestos and neither did any of your immediate family members. You never thought you could be at risk of developing cancer from using a trusted product like Johnson & Johnson baby powder.

However, if you regularly used Johnson & Johnson talcum-based baby powder and you develop mesothelioma, then the baby powder could be the cause of your cancer.

Mesothelioma symptoms typically don’t develop for decades after asbestos exposure. Before symptoms start, you have no way of knowing that you’ve been hurt.

Accordingly, you still have time to file a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and to protect your legal rights if you have been recently diagnosed with mesothelioma or if your loved one died from cancer. You may be able to join with other people who have developed mesothelioma from the same Johnson & Johnson talcum-based baby powder products, and, together, you may pursue a mass tort lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company.

Johnson & Johnson continues to fight back in talcum-based baby powder cases. You deserve a lawyer who will fight hard to get you the fair recovery that you deserve. Contact our talcum baby powder cancer lawyers today for a free, confidential consultation to learn about your rights, to get your questions answered, and to protect your recovery.

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John L. Keefe
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