Jury Awards $18.8 Million Talcum Powder Verdict in Johnson & Johnson Trial

Jury Awards $18.8 Million Talcum Powder Verdict in Johnson & Johnson Trial

The controversy surrounding Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products has captured nationwide attention. Talcum powder litigation has proven a long-drawn-out battle due to the company’s repeated attempts at bankruptcy court, creating a stalemate that has paused over 37,000 lawsuits. Despite these delays, the first talcum powder cancer trial in nearly two years witnessed a favorable outcome for the plaintiffs. Recently, a jury handed down an $18.8 million talcum powder verdict to a California man, Anthony Hernandez Valadez. Valadez claims that the iconic baby powder played a significant role in causing his mesothelioma, a type of cancer that is specifically linked to asbestos exposure.  

Man Claims Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder Gave Him Mesothelioma   

Anthony Hernandez Valadez’s battle with mesothelioma lies at the center of this latest trial. The 24-year-old filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson last year in California state court in Oakland. Valadez testified that heavy exposure to the company’s talc products caused mesothelioma to develop around the tissue of his heart. Mesothelioma is a rare but deadly cancer linked to asbestos, a carcinogen.   

Valadez told the jury that he would have never used J&J’s talc products had he known about the alleged asbestos contamination. Through tears, Valadez’s mother informed the court that she had used large amounts of J&J’s baby powder on her son since he was a baby and into childhood. Sadly, Valadez’s form of mesothelioma is very rare, differentiating his case from others filed against J&J.  

Jury Delivers $18.8 Million Talcum Powder Verdict in Johnson & Johnson Trial 

Following a six-week trial, the jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $18.8 million to compensate Valadez for his medical bills and pain and suffering. However, the jury did not award Valadez punitive damages against J&J, a type of compensation intended to punish the company.  

Valadez’s lawyer accused J&J of a decades-long cover-up to hide asbestos contamination in its talcum powder products. But J&J denied that there was evidence linking Valadez’s mesothelioma to asbestos or proving that he was exposed to tainted talc. Johnson & Johnson announced it plans to appeal the $18.8 million verdict.  

Impact of $18.8 Million Talcum Powder Verdict on Johnson & Johnson Bankruptcy 

What sets Valadez’s case apart is the circumstance that led to its trial clearance. Although J&J’s second bankruptcy filing yet again paused lawsuits, the court made an exception due to Valadez’s rapidly deteriorating health. This decision highlights an unfortunate aspect of J&J’s insistent attempts to handle claims in bankruptcy court: plaintiffs are getting sicker and, in some cases, dying while their lawsuits remain frozen. Since Valadez is expected to only live a short time, the court allowed his case to proceed to trial.  

Plaintiffs and their attorneys argue that J&J’s bankruptcy attempts are in bad faith, as the multibillion-dollar company is trying to shield itself from full financial accountability in talcum powder claims. The company’s second bankruptcy included $8.9 billion to settle remaining lawsuits. But a judge recently ruled that the company’s latest bankruptcy is invalid because it is not in financial distress.  

Like the recent $18.8 million talcum powder verdict, J&J plans to appeal the judge’s dismissal of its second bankruptcy plan. However, this significant sum awarded in Valadez’s trial may make plaintiffs less likely to accept future sweeping settlements from the company.  

The Lake Law Firm Can Fight for You 

 Talcum powder litigation has been a prolonged struggle marked by the company’s efforts within the bankruptcy court and the ensuing impasse that has stalled thousands of lawsuits. Nonetheless, a glimmer of hope emerges as the first talcum powder cancer trial in nearly two years delivers a much-needed victory for plaintiffs.  

The $18.8 million talcum powder verdict is a pivotal moment in this ongoing litigation. However, it’s important to acknowledge that this battle is far from over. Johnson & Johnson’s resolve to appeal the verdict demonstrates their commitment to their stance.  

As the talcum powder saga unfolds, The Lake Law Firm will continue to stand by those seeking justice. Contact us at (888) 525-3529 if you or a loved one developed cancer after exposure to Johnson & Johnson talc products.