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J&J loses talc powder case in New York, notches a win in South Carolina


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J&J loses talc powder case in New York, notches a win in South Carolina

A New York jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay at least $25 million in compensatory damages to a woman alleging that the company's talc products caused her cancer, Bloomberg News reported.

Donna Olson claimed that her mesothelioma was caused by decadeslong use of the company's baby powder. Mesothelioma is a cancer in the lining of internal organs and is caused by exposure to asbestos.

The jury will meet next week to decide on punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson over the alleged mishandling of its talc products.

Johnson & Johnson would appeal the verdict, the news outlet added, citing a spokeswoman for the New Brunswick, N.J.-based company. According to the spokeswoman, the trial "suffered significant legal and evidentiary errors," such as the "demonstrably false testimony" by the plaintiff's central expert.

At the same time, a South Carolina jury cleared Johnson & Johnson in another talc powder-related lawsuit in which a woman claimed that her mesothelioma was caused by asbestos in the company's product.

The U.S. pharmaceutical giant is facing about 14,000 legal complaints regarding its talc merchandise, and the company has continuously denied the presence of asbestos in any of its products.

The rulings in New York and South Carolina are the latest updates in the company's ongoing talc-related legal battle. In April, Johnson & Johnson picked up another win after a Long Beach, Calif., jury ruled that its talc products did not cause a retired teacher's cancer.

However, Johnson & Johnson also suffered a loss in California earlier in March. A jury ordered the company to pay $29 million to a woman who claimed that she was diagnosed with mesothelioma after using its baby powder and shower to shower powder.

Earlier in February, the healthcare giant disclosed it received preliminary inquiries and subpoenas from federal agencies related to the ongoing legal battle involving its talc powder.

In December 2018, an investigation by Reuters claimed the company was aware of the presence of asbestos in its baby powder as early as the 1950s. Johnson & Johnson responded by calling the report "one-sided, false and inflammatory."