J&J has been forced to compensate a mesothelioma sufferer $18.8 million in a talc dispute, but has vowed to appeal

J&J Loses $18.8 Million Talc Lawsuit to Mesothelioma Victim

During a period of nationwide freezing on Johnson & Johnson’s talc litigation, one case managed to proceed and resulted in a trial verdict favoring the plaintiff.

The plaintiff, Anthony Hernandez Valadez, filed the case last year, asserting that his prolonged use of J&J’s baby powder during childhood led to him developing a rare form of mesothelioma.

A California jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff, awarding him $18.8 million in damages to cover medical expenses and suffering. However, the jury decided not to grant punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson, as reported by multiple news outlets.

In response to the verdict, J&J’s worldwide vice president of litigation, Erik Haas, stated that the company plans to appeal based on what they consider “erroneous rulings” by the trial judge. These rulings prevented J&J from presenting certain facts that, according to the company, would demonstrate that the plaintiff’s “exceedingly rare” mesothelioma was not caused by their products. “Without the benefit of that evidence, the verdict is irreconcilable with the decades of independent scientific evaluations confirming Johnson’s Baby Powder is safe, does not contain asbestos and does not cause cancer,” Haas added. 

Haas emphasized that the verdict does not impact the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings related to J&J’s talc litigation.

Currently, Johnson & Johnson has faced 10 talc trial losses out of 42 trials conducted so far. Some cases are under appeal or have been resolved, while the remaining 32 ended in favor of J&J, resulted in a mistrial, or had verdicts reversed in appeals.

Recently, J&J pursued legal action against doctors who have linked their talc-based products to cancer. These doctors were called to testify in talc cases, and their studies have been used as evidence in personal injury claims. In a complaint, J&J accused the doctors of making “careers and small fortunes” by testifying for plaintiffs in asbestos trials.

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