An Oakland, Calif. jury has awarded a $29 million settlement to a woman who sued Johnson & Johnson over allegations that the company’s talcum-based baby powder contains asbestos-causing cancer, according to ABC News. Teresa Leavitt’s lawsuit against the pharmaceutical giant claimed the company’s baby powder was the reason she developed mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
The consumer health and beauty products corporation said it would appeal Thursday’s verdict, noting, “We respect the legal process and reiterate that jury verdicts are not medical, scientific or regulatory conclusions about a product.”
Johnson & Johnson has lost and is appealing other lawsuits based on claims that the company’s talc contains toxic chemicals. In 2018, a Missouri jury ordered the company to pay $4.69 billion to 22 women who said the product gave them ovarian cancer.
Following this most recent verdict, (jnj) Johnson & Johnson faces an additional 11,000 to 13,000 lawsuits of a similar nature, which are currently pending and allege cancer resulted from using the company’s asbestos-tainted baby powder. J&J is also being investigated by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Justice Department regarding disclosures about asbestos in its products. A December 2018 report by Reuters examined internal company documents that showed for decades, company executives and scientists knew and discussed addressing positive tests for asbestos in powders but did nothing to warn the public or pull the products over health and safety concerns.