A case alleging Johnson’s Baby Powder caused a woman’s mesothelioma ended abruptly Monday when the California judge overseeing the case announced the parties had reached a settlement agreement, Law360 reported. It was one of the first cases to go to trial since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it found asbestos in bottles of the company’s iconic Johnson’s Baby Powder in October. The finding resulted in a recall of certain lots of the talcum powder.
“I don’t know what the settlement is; I just know that it’s resolved,” Alameda County Judge Stephen Kaus told the jury.
The case was that of Linda and Mark O’Hagan, who sued Johnson & Johnson over claims that Linda O’Hagan’s use of Johnson’s Baby Powder caused her to develop mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer linked to asbestos exposure. She was diagnosed in August 2018 with a dire prognosis of 18 months at best, and underwent several rounds of chemotherapy and immunotherapy. The treatments have kept the cancer from spreading, her lawyer said.
The O’Hagans’ trial began Dec. 2, with their attorney in opening arguments informing jurors that on Oct. 18, Johnson & Johnson issued a recall on about 33,000 bottles of its baby powder after the FDA found trace amounts of asbestos in some bottles of the talcum powder. The consumer health care giant argued that two third-party labs it hired to independently test the talc found no evidence of asbestos, and that its talcum powder products couldn’t have caused O’Hagan’s diagnosis.
The trial took a long break for the holidays beginning Dec. 20, and resumed briefly Monday for Judge Kaus to inform jurors of the new development. The settlement cut short the possibility that the O’Hagan jury would be able to consider the FDA’s finding of asbestos in Johnson’s Baby Powder during deliberations.
Beasley Allen has been privileged to represent thousands of people who developed ovarian cancer and mesothelioma after using Johnson & Johnson talcum powder. For more information about mesothelioma litigation, contact Sharon Zinns in the firm’s Atlanta office.