There was good and bad news earlier this month for people affected by asbestos in talcum. A Missouri court of appeal upheld a verdict made against Johnson & Johnson in 2018 but slashed damages awarded from $4.69 billion to $2.2 billion. The original case was brought by 22 women who claimed they had contracted ovarian cancer due to using Johson & Johnson talcum powder. Only 11 are still alive.
The reason for reducing the damages awarded is that some of the women were from out of state and found to have no right to claim in Missouri. Others were allowed to claim, despite being from out of state, because the Shimmer talcum powder they used was manufactured in Missouri.
The battle against Johnson & Johnson is far from over. There are currently another 19,000 lawsuits against them from people who claim their talcum powder caused ovarian cancer or mesothelioma. The pharmaceuticals giant finally pulled the talc from the shelves in May of this year, despite evidence showing they had been aware that their talcum powder contained asbestos for 50 years.
The company appeared to show little remorse after the appeals court verdict. Their spokesman said, “We remain confident that our talc is safe, asbestos-free, and does not cause cancer.” The trial included internal memos showing that they did know about the asbestos. The judges concluded Johnson & Johnson not only suppressed the information but also rigged the tests for asbestos and tried to influence the regulators.
If you or a family member have been affected by asbestos-laced talcum powder, contact us to understand your legal options.