Johnson & Johnson were ordered by a Californa Superior Court to pay a cancer patient for compensatory damages on claims that the company ignored decades of red flags about asbestos in its talc baby powder.
Johnson & Johnson were ordered by a California Superior Court in Alameda County, on August 2021, to pay a cancer patient for compensatory damages on claims that the company ignored decades of red flags about asbestos in its talc baby powder. The jury awarded plaintiff Christina Prudencio, approximately $26.5 million. She alleged the longtime use of J&J talcum powder caused her surgery, hemorrhaging, and a terminal case of malignant mesothelioma.
The jury awarded $15 million for future noneconomic damages, including pain and suffering; $5 million for past noneconomic damages; $4.1 million for lost past and future income, $1.57 million for lost household services; and $800,000 for past medical costs, according to counsel for the defense. The latter amount was stipulated by the parties before deliberations. The case will now proceed to a punitive damages phase this week, according to a spokesman for the plaintiffs.
Johnson & Johnson counsel stated in closing arguments that the plaintiff’s malignant cancer was not caused by her talc use, but most likely a result of a gene mutation. Prudencio's lawyer, Joseph Satterley, attributed Johnson & Johnson's historical behavior as a company as the contributing factor for her cancer. He said the company disregarded many warnings over the decades, including a 1971 meeting with a researcher who had discovered chrysotile asbestos in the talc. Johnson & Johnson did not remove product from the U.S. market until 2020.
According to recent reports, Johnson & Johnson may consider siloing its talc liabilities with a subsidiary and then moving the subsidiary into bankruptcy.
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