Jury Awards $29.4 Million in Talcum-Cancer Trial

California jury orders J&J to pay US$29 million in latest talc cancer trial

Woman awarded $29m in damages in Johnson & Johnson cancer case

A few weeks ago, sources told Reuters that India's CDCSO had failed to find traces of asbestos in J&J's talcum powder.

Plaintiff Teresa Leavitt is a mother of two who said J&J's talc products were used on her as a child, and she used it herself into adulthood, Bloomberg reports.

J&J says its products do not contain asbestos, and said it will appeal Wednesday's jury decision.

A jury in Missouri a year ago awarded US$4.69 million to 22 women.

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The California Superior Court in Oakland agreed that the company's baby powder was a "substantial contributing factor" to her mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer caused by the inhalation of asbestos.

Most health-care companies performed well, but Johnson & Johnson struggled with claims that its talc baby powder contained the carcinogen asbestos. In December a year ago, the company reiterated the safety of its products as a slew of drug regulators around the world such as the US FDA and India's Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) analysed samples of J&J products.

J&J faces thousands of lawsuits alleging its talc-based products harmed consumers. The jury decided against awarding punitive damages, which are created to punish the defendants - in this case Johnson & Johnson and the other companies involved in making the talcum powder - for reckless or negligent behavior.

Her suit is one of many that link cancers to asbestos in Johnson & Johnson's talc-based products and contend that the company concealed the health risk for decades. "The internal J&J documents that the jury saw, once more laid bare the shocking truth of decades of cover-up, deception and concealment by J&J".

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J&J said it would appeal, pointing to "serious procedural and evidentiary errors", Reuters reported.

In December, documents came to light showing J&J anxious for decades that its baby powder might be laced with small amounts of asbestos, which can occur naturally underground near talc.

In response to the lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson released a statement about the verdict, saying the company plans to appeal.

Leavitt's was the first talc case to go to trial since Reuters on December 14 published a report detailing that J&J knew that the talc in its raw and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos from the 1970s into the early 2000s - test results it did not disclose to regulators or consumers.

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