Johnson & Johnson win talcum powder

cancer case

Johnson & Johnson one of the world's leading manufacturers of Personal Care and Hygiene Products has successfully defended a long running case brought against it by a lady who alleged that Talc based products manufactured by the Company including its baby powder contain Asbestos and caused her Cancer.

A Jury sitting in a Court in California decided on the 14th of November 2018 that Claimant Carla Allen had not contracted Mesothelioma, a tissue cancer closely linked to Asbestos exposure, as a result of use of the Company's talcum products including Johnson's Baby Powder.

The Company had vigorously denied the allegations made by the Claimant, asserting that decades of scientific testing and regulatory approvals had shown that its products were safe and free of Asbestos. The Court was sitting in Eureka California. There are some 11,700 outstanding cases against Johnson & Johnson in the United States alone making similar allegations, 9,700 of which involve Claims relating to Ovarian Cancer.

The Jury Trial had lasted some seven weeks. Litigation such as this against Johnson & Johnson has been going on for a number of years but in recent times Claimants have begun to allege that the product contained Asbestos contamination causing both Ovarian Cancer and Mesothelioma.

The Company was obviously relieved at the decision of the Jury although it is not out of the woods yet with regard to Litigation. It had previously successfully defended three Mesothelioma cases but had also been unsuccessful in defending two other cases in New Jersey and California where Juries awarded a total of $142m in Damages. The Company has appealed those decisions.

Other cases taken against the Company have been inconclusive for one reason or another. Of most significance however was an award by a Jury in Missouri last July of $4.6bn against Johnson & Johnson, at the end of a trial involving an allegation of Asbestos contamination which the Jury found had caused Ovarian Cancer in 22 women. Not unexpectedly that finding is presently the subject of an appeal by the Company.

If you require any further detail or advice, please contact John Reid in O’Rourke Reid
Dial: +353 1 240 1200

This document is for information purposes only and does not purport to represent legal advice.  
© O’Rourke Reid 2018