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HEALTH/SCI/TECH

Johnson & Johnson Loses Talc Cancer Lawsuit, Must Pay $29 Million

A Johnson & Johnson building is shown in Irvine, California, U.S., January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo
A Johnson & Johnson building is shown in Irvine, California, U.S., January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

The lawsuit is the first to go to a jury after a bombshell Reuters investigation in December exposed what Johnson & Johnson knew about the potential contamination of its baby powder.

(Reuters) – A California jury on Wednesday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $29 million to a woman who said that asbestos in the company’s talcum-powder-based products, including Johnson’s Baby Powder, caused her mesothelioma.

The verdict, in California Superior Court in Oakland, marks the latest defeat for the healthcare conglomerate, which faces more than 13,000 talc-related lawsuits nationwide.

J&J said it was disappointed with the verdict and would appeal, citing “serious procedural and evidentiary errors” in the course of the trial.

The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company denies that its talc causes cancer, saying numerous studies and tests by regulators worldwide have shown that its talc is safe and asbestos-free.

Pssst, while you're here...

The lawsuit, brought by Terry Leavitt, was the first of more than a dozen J&J talc cases scheduled for trial in 2019. The nine-week trial began on Jan. 7 and included testimony from nearly a dozen experts on both sides.

The jury deliberated for two days before delivering its verdict, which was broadcast online by Courtroom View Network.

(Read the documents that sparked the investigation – https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/johnsonandjohnson-cancer/)

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