Consumer goods giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has been ordered to pay US$29 million ($A41 million) to a woman who alleged that asbestos in the company’s talcum-powder-based products caused her cancer, Reuters has reported.
A California jury handed down the verdict on Wednesday, marking the latest defeat for the healthcare conglomerate which is facing over 13,000 similar lawsuits nationwide.
J&J denies allegations that its talc causes cancer and plans to appeal the verdict, citing “serious procedural and evidentiary errors” during the course of the trial.
“We respect the legal process and reiterate that jury verdicts are not medical, scientific or regulatory conclusions about a product,” J&J said in a statement on Wednesday.
Reuters reported that the lawsuit was brought by Terry Leavitt, who said she used Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower in the 1960s and 1970s and was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2017.
Jurors found that J&J’s talc-based products used by Leavitt were defective and that the company had failed to warn consumers of the health risks.
In December 2018, Reuters released a report alleging that Johnson & Johnson knew about trace amounts of asbestos in its baby powder product for decades.
Reuters‘ analysis of internal documents, company memos and other confidential documents found that from at least 1971 to the early 2000s tests for asbestos proved positive.