A California state jury is slated to hear opening arguments in an asbestos talcum powder lawsuit filed against pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson over allegations that the company knew for decades about the health risks associated with its talc-based products. The asbestos cancer lawsuit names Johnson & Johnson and its supplier, Imerys Talc USA, as defendants and seeks compensation for past and future medical bills, lost wages, and the pain and suffering of living with the mesothelioma cancer diagnosis.
According to the talcum powder asbestos cancer lawsuit, filed in Alameda County California Superior Court, the plaintiff developed mesothelioma from years of using asbestos-contaminated talcum powder products developed and manufactured by Johnson & Johnson with materials sourced by Imerys Talc USA. The lawsuit claims that despite knowing for decades about the health risks of asbestos exposure from tainted talcum powder, Johnson & Johnson continued to market and sell these same products without any warning labels for consumers.
The trial is the first one of this type scheduled this year against Johnson & Johnson and the first since a report by Reuters which showed that the company knew about positive asbestos tests on its talcum powder sourced by Imerys USA. That report looked at thousands of pages of internal Johnson & Johnson company files that showed both company tests and those conducted by outside labs confirmed the presence of potentially deadly levels of asbestos in its talc supply.
Johnson & Johnson faces an even larger number of asbestos talcum powder lawsuit trials in 2019 after a year in which juries across the country handed down over $5 billion in plaintiffs verdicts against the company for knowingly marketing asbestos-contaminated products to new mothers and children. In one mesothelioma cancer trial in Missouri, a St. Louis jury awarded 22 plaintiffs a staggering $4.69 billion in compensatory and punitive damages for Johnson & Johnson’s indifference to public safety.
In a separate trial in Los Angeles, jurors awarded plaintiffs $417 million in compensatory and punitive damages to a plaintiff who claimed she developed a deadly form of cancer from using talcum powder products sold and developed by Johnson & Johnson. Similarly, a New Jersey state jury also awarded a plaintiff $117 million in total damages over his claims that he developed mesothelioma from asbestos in Johnson & Johnson products he used.
Both talc and asbestos are naturally occurring minerals often found in deposits side by side one another. If due care is not taken when mining talc, the mineral can become contaminated with asbestos, creating serious health risks for consumers who have no idea the products they are using are dangerous.
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