A jury in California has awarded a plaintiff $12 million in a case claiming that Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products contained asbestos. The verdict came after more than a month of testimony.
The plaintiff, a 61-year-old former teacher, testified that she developed mesothelioma after using J&J’s talc-based products.
The case also named Colgate-Palmolive as a defendant. The plaintiff claimed that the company’s Cashmere Bouquet product also caused her illness.
Both companies maintain that their products were not the cause of the woman’s illness. They allege that there were numerous procedural errors that should have led to a mistrial.
The 12-member jury deliberated for five days before reaching their decision. They agreed that the companies were negligent and failed to warn that the products had a design defect. The jury was unable to agree on whether the companies were acting with “malice, oppression or fraud,” so no punitive damages were assessed.
Each company has been ordered to pay 40% of the total verdict. The remaining 20% of the blame was put on Avon, which was not named in the lawsuit.
J&J is facing an estimated 13,000 lawsuits related to its talc products. In March, another California jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff, awarding $29 million in damages. In April of 2018, a man from New Jersey was awarded $37 million in damages after suing J&J. He claimed that the company’s talc-based products caused his mesothelioma.
J&J has lost 11 trials related to its talc products since 2016, according to Bloomberg.
The number of lawsuits against J&J increased after a Reuters article claimed that the company knew its products contained asbestos for decades. J&J has maintained that its products do not contain the carcinogen.
J&J plans to pursue an appeal, as it has in all cases it has lost thus far.