A California jury that had already found Johnson & Johnson guilty of negligence and awarded $21.7 million in compensatory damages has followed their decision by awarding a baby powder mesothelioma victim an additional $4 million in punitive damages. The jury found that the company had acted with malice, oppression or fraud in hiding the dangers of its product from the public.
The mesothelioma lawsuit is one of several that the consumer giant has faced and lost: this case involved 66-year-old Joanne Anderson and her husband. Anderson was an avid bowler who indicated that she had used the company’s talcum powder product on her children as she raised them, and then continued to use it herself to keep her hands and feet dry while pursuing her bowling hobby. She was diagnosed with the rare and fatal form of cancer and quickly determined that her primary exposure to asbestos was from asbestos-contaminated talcum powder sold by Johnson & Johnson.
On May 23rd the jury hearing the case had assigned Johnson & Johnson 67 percent responsibility for Anderson’s mesothelioma, with the rest divided among other defendants, but when it came to punitive damages they restricted their award to the consumer company for its failure to warn consumers of the possibility of cancer from their product. Though Johnson & Johnson has maintained that its powder does not contain asbestos, evidence was submitted at trial that a company scientist had warned of the possibility of litigation as long ago as 1969. In response Johnson & Johnson mounted numerous marketing campaigns disputing research data on their product’s dangers and hid testing data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
An advocate speaking for the mesothelioma victim’s family said, “Johnson’s Baby Powder has contained asbestos for decades. People need to know about this.” Another case was recently heard in a New Jersey court room, and awarded a mesothelioma victim over $70 million. There are also thousands of pending cases accusing Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder of containing asbestos-contaminated talc that caused women’s ovarian cancer.
If you or someone you love has been sickened by an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma, you need a strong advocate who can answer your questions and get you justice. Contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.