A terminally-ill woman who claimed her mesothelioma was the result of using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products throughout her childhood was awarded $26.4 million by a California jury.
Plaintiff, Christina Prudencio, claimed in a California Superior Court that she had been exposed to Johnson & Johnson’s talc baby powder until her early teen years, ConsiderTheConsumer.com reported.
Diagnosed with terminal malignant mesothelioma in 2020, Prudencio’s cancer is associated with exposure to asbestos, a mineral that’s found in very close proximity to raw talc. When talc is mined, veins of asbestos can penetrate into talc deposits.
In 2019, Johnson & Johnson recalled a batch—over 30,000 bottles—of talc baby powder after testing revealed traces of asbestos in some of the bottles. No safe exposure levels to asbestos have been established, meaning that even tiny amounts pose a health risk to humans.
Johnson & Johnson has emerged victorious in three other recent talc powder trials, in which juries found that J&J’s talc did not cause cancer in the plaintiffs. However, these three defendant verdicts had ovarian cancer claims. Juries in those trials established that exposure to talcum powder did not cause the powder to migrate into the fallopian tubes. But with Prudencio’s trial and other recent mesothelioma cases in which plaintiffs have emerged victorious, juries were more convinced that the inhalation of asbestos particles through exposure to talc powder caused harm to the plaintiffs’ lungs.
Although J&J has emerged victorious in the three most recent talc powder ovarian cancer claims, it was unsuccessful in challenging a Missouri jury’s verdict that awarded 22 women $4.7 billion. That award was later reduced to $2.1 billion and now stands after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review that decision.
At last count, J&J faces over 36,000 additional talc powder ovarian cancer lawsuits that have been consolidated in a New Jersey federal court.