Johnson & Johnson was hit with a $40.3 million verdict Friday by a California jury that found the company’s talcum powder was contaminated with asbestos. They found this was a substantial factor in a woman’s mesothelioma diagnosis, and that the company knew of the risks but failed to warn consumers.

Nancy Cabibi and her husband Phil Cabibi filed the lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in June 2017, alleging that Nancy Cabibi’s regular use of the company’s Johnson’s Baby Powder and other talc-containing products caused her to develop mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer linked to asbestos exposure.

After a four-week trial and six days of deliberation, the jury awarded Nancy Cabibi $1.2 million in economic damages, including past and future medical bills; $6.5 million for past noneconomic damages; $12.6 million for future noneconomic damages; and $20 million to Phil Cabibi. No punitive damages were awarded in the case. While the jury found in the couple’s favor on most counts, they did not find that Johnson & Johnson had negligently designed or sold its talcum powder products, or that it acted with malice or fraud, as the plaintiffs had contended.

Johnson & Johnson faces thousands of lawsuits alleging the talc used in its talcum powder products causes mesothelioma as well as ovarian cancer when used by women for personal hygiene. Most of those cases allege asbestos in the talc as the culprit.

On Sept. 11, a New Jersey state jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $37.3 million to four people who claimed exposure to Johnson’s Baby Powder caused them to develop mesothelioma.

Sharon Zinns, who works in Beasley Allen’s Atlanta office, is leading a team handling mesothelioma claims. They are looking at cases of industrial, occupational and secondary asbestos exposure resulting in lung cancer or mesothelioma; as well as claims of asbestos-related talc products linked to mesothelioma. Beasley Allen lawyers Ted Meadows and Leigh O’Dell are heading up the team handling claims of ovarian cancer linked to talcum powder use for feminine hygiene.

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