July 2018: A St. Louis jury found Johnson & Johnson and Imerys liable for more than $4.69 billion in compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of 22 plaintiffs, specifically finding that the companies were aware of and responsible for the presence of cancer-causing asbestos in certain talcum powder products. The jury award includes $550 million in compensatory damages and $4.14 billion in punitive damages.
While there have been other trials in which juries have determined that talc products contained asbestos and caused mesothelioma cancer, this case marks the first talc/asbestos-induced ovarian cancer verdict in the United States. Jurors heard evidence that Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products have been laced with asbestos for decades, in spite of the representations J&J made to the FDA and others.
“That’s why I feel this trial is so important for the women who are using it. I hope it gets taken off the market. People don’t know what they’re dealing with.” — Karen Hawk, one of the plaintiffs
Medical experts testified that microscopic asbestos fibers enter the body when talcum powder is inhaled or applied to the genital area. Asbestos fibers and talc particles were found in the ovarian tissues of many of the women.
Click here to read the original complaint.