According to NPR and a number of media sources, a landmark case has just been won, with a jury ordering Johnson & Johnson to pay “nearly $4.7 billion in damages to 22 women and their families who say asbestos found in the company’s talcum powder contributed to their ovarian cancer.” MarketWatch has publicized that the damages awarded were “the biggest single verdict in such cases so far.”
The New York Times reported that… “a lawyer for the plaintiffs, Mark Lanier, told the Times that six of the women had died and that the remaining 16, along with friends and relatives, were in the courtroom for the verdict.
TIME reports: “J&J knew its talc products were contaminated with asbestos and kept this information from reaching the public, Mark Lanier, the plaintiffs’ lawyer told jurors in closing arguments Wednesday… J&J “rigged’’ tests to avoid showing the presence of asbestos, Lanier said. If a test showed the presence of asbestos J&J sent it to a lab the company knew would produce different results, he told the jurors.”
The BBC wrote that: “The mineral talc in its natural form does contain asbestos and does cause cancer, however, asbestos-free talc has been used in baby powder and other cosmetics since the 1970s. But the studies on asbestos-free talc give contradictory results.”
Additionally, The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies talc used on the genitals as “possibly carcinogenic” because of the mixed evidence.
Johnson & Johnson continues to claim that their product is safe and asbestos-free and they will appeal the verdict despite battling more than 9,000 talcum-powder lawsuits.
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