Jury orders J&J to pay US$25 million in baby powder lawsuit

CPG company has been hit with several lawsuits in recent years over cancer claim

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A Southern California jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay more than US$25 million to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that she developed cancer by using the company’s talc-based baby powder.

Jurors on Thursday awarded $4 million in punitive damages after finding that Johnson & Johnson acted with “malice, oppression or fraud.”

A day earlier the panel ordered $21.7 million in compensatory damages for plaintiff Joanne Anderson. She suffers from mesothelioma, a lung cancer linked to asbestos exposure.

Johnson & Johnson says it’s disappointed in the decision and will appeal.

The 66-year-old Anderson alleged Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers that its powder contains asbestos and could cause cancer–charges the company denies.

Johnson & Johnson has been hit with numerous lawsuits over the cancer claim. In August it was ordered to pay a record US$417 million to a woman who claimed the talc in the baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

And, in 2016, three trials in St. Louis had similar outcomes—with juries awarding damages of $72 million, $70.1 million and $55 million, for a combined total of $307.6 million.