Discover the latest verdict in the talc cancer lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) as the company is ordered to pay $18.8 million. This setback comes as J&J faces challenges in settling numerous talc-related cases.


In a setback for Johnson & Johnson (J&J), a jury has directed the company to pay $18.8 million in a talc cancer lawsuit. The verdict comes as J&J seeks to settle thousands of similar cases related to its talc-based products in U.S. bankruptcy court. Emory Hernandez Valadez, a California man who filed the suit last year, claimed that he developed mesothelioma from exposure to J&J's baby powder since childhood.

The jury ruled in favor of Hernandez, awarding him damages for medical expenses and pain and suffering. However, punitive damages were not granted. Due to a bankruptcy court order freezing most talc litigation, it remains uncertain when Hernandez can collect the judgment.

Erik Haas, J&J's vice president of litigation, stated the company's intention to appeal the verdict, emphasizing the decades of independent scientific evaluations confirming the safety of Johnson's Baby Powder, asserting it does not contain asbestos or cause cancer.

During the six-week trial, J&J's lawyers argued the lack of evidence linking Hernandez's mesothelioma to asbestos or proving exposure to tainted talc. In contrast, Hernandez's legal team accused J&J of a "despicable" cover-up of asbestos contamination.

Hernandez testified that he would have avoided J&J's talc had he been warned about potential asbestos content. His mother, Anna Camacho, tearfully described her use of the company's baby powder on Hernandez during his childhood.

Numerous plaintiffs have sued J&J, alleging ovarian cancer and mesothelioma from its talc products containing asbestos. J&J maintains the safety and asbestos-free nature of its talc products.

J&J subsidiary LTL Management filed for bankruptcy, proposing an $8.9 billion settlement to resolve over 38,000 lawsuits and prevent new cases. Asbestos plaintiffs aim to dismiss the bankruptcy filing, alleging it was made in bad faith to protect the company.

Hernandez's trial proceeded due to his limited life expectancy. His case is distinct, as his mesothelioma type is rare among J&J's litigations.

With talc-related costs, including verdicts, settlements, and legal fees reaching approximately $4.5 billion, J&J contends that bankruptcy delivers fairer and more efficient settlement payouts than trial courts.

(The news is in association with Business Standards)

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