Johnson & Johnson Loses $40.3 Million Verdict in Talc Asbestos Trial

  • Nancy and Phil Cabibi filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, alleging the company's baby powder was tainted with asbestos.
  • In 2017, Nancy was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare and deadly lung cancer associated with asbestos exposure.
  • An LA jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $40.3 million to the couple.

On Friday, a Los Angeles jury awarded $40.3 million to an Idaho couple in the most recent asbestos trial against Johnson & Johnson.

Nancy Cabibi and her husband Phil sued Johnson & Johnson after she was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in 2017. Mesothelioma is a relatively rare and fatal form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Because of her cancer diagnosis, Cabibi has undergone multiple treatments including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy.

Like many similar mesothelioma lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, the couple claims the company's talcum powder was contaminated with asbestos, leading to Cabibi's mesothelioma diagnosis. An asbestos exposure test found two different types of asbestos -- tremolite and anthophyllite asbestos -- in Cabibi's body tissue. The two types of asbestos have previously been identified in Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Shower to Shower product. Cabibi used both products frequently.

Johnson & Johnson denies theories of product contamination. Their legal team defended the company's products and argued Cabibi's diagnosis could have resulted from her time living in an industrial area of Los Angeles (prior to the couple's move to Idaho).

After 6 days of deliberation, the jury came to two significant conclusions, according to Cabibi's attorneys:

  • Johnson & Johnson's talcum powder products were defective because they were contaminated with asbestos.
  • The contaminated baby powder contributed to Cabibi's cancer diagnosis.

The jury concluded the trial with a $40.3 million verdict in favor of Cabibi.

This legal loss is the second in less than a month for the company. A few weeks earlier, a New Jersey jury awarded $37.3 million to four plaintiffs in the first consolidated asbestos trial against Johnson & Johnson. According to recent reports, Johnson & Johnson currently faces 15,500 talc-related lawsuits.

However, not all of these baby powder lawsuits are centered around asbestos contamination. Thousands of women have sued Johnson & Johnson alleging the company's talc-based baby powder was linked to ovarian cancer development. The most recent talcum powder verdict related to ovarian cancer awarded $4.69 billion to 22 women in July 2018.

Diagnosed with mesothelioma after using J&J Baby Powder or Shower to Shower product? Get a free case review today
Authored by Caitlin HoffStaff Writer
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Caitlin Hoff aims to educate families and individuals about important consumer topics that impact the general public’s health and safety. Working with, Caitlin focuses a large part of her research and educational efforts on lawsuits and recalls associated with common drugs, medical devices, and retail products that endanger the lives of consumers. Caitlin holds a BS in Industrial Design from the University of Cincinnati, and she has received certification in CDC Health Literacy for Public Health Professionals.
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