Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $18.8 million by a jury in California who found that asbestos in baby powder caused a man to develop cancer.
The 24-year-old man, Emory V., was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2022. Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive type of lung cancer that is commonly associated with asbestos exposure. He is now terminally ill, lawyers said.
During a 6-week trial, his lawyers alleged that the talcum powder in Johnson’s Baby Powder contained asbestos, and showed the jury pictures of him as a baby with bottles of Johnson’s Baby Powder in the photo.
He claimed that his mother frequently used Johnson’s Baby Powder on him when he was a child, unwittingly exposing him to asbestos.
Lawyers also alleged that Johnson & Johnson knew for years that talcum powder could be contaminated with asbestos, but withheld that information from the public to protect sales.
The jury agreed, finding Johnson & Johnson 100% liable for his cancer, and awarded $18.8 million for his medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Johnson & Johnson has been hit by tens of thousands of lawsuits involving people who developed cancer after using baby powder and other products containing talcum powder.
Earlier this year, a subsidiary of the company filed for bankruptcy and proposed an $8.9 billion settlement with other 38,000 plaintiffs.
Johnson & Johnson continues to deny any link between its talc products and cancer, but stopped selling talc-based baby powder in 2020 and switched to cornstarch.