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Johnson & Johnson Ordered To Pay £19m To Woman In Baby Powder Court Battle

Johnson & Johnson Ordered To Pay £19m To Woman In Baby Powder Court Battle

An American woman has won a massive payout from Johnson & Johnson after claiming she contracted a rare "asbestos-related cancer" through decades of daily use of its Baby Powder and its other talc product, Shower to Shower.

The company was ordered to pay at least $25 million (£19.7 million) to Donna Olson, who is now aged 66 and has been using the products since the 1980s according to Bloomberg.

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However, that isn't quite the end of the case. Jurors will apparently return next week to consider assessing additional "punitive damages" against the company over its alleged mishandling of the talc products, on top of the woman's compensation.

On top of that, Johnson & Johnson is facing more than 14,000 claims that its powders could be linked to both mesothelioma (which the woman in this case contracted) and ovarian cancer.

Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson


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The company is arguing that its products never contained a carcinogen and that talc does not cause life-threatening illnesses.

This case was in New York, but the company has won court cases elsewhere, with a South Carolina jury recently ruling that Johnson & Johnson was not liable for a woman developing mesothelioma.

The New York case isn't the only one they've been involved in, and the company has a mixed track record for wins.


A company spokeswoman, Kim Montagnino, said: "This trial suffered significant legal and evidentiary errors - one of the most egregious being the demonstrably false testimony from the plaintiff's central experts".


This verdict is the 10th win for customers claiming that Johnson & Johnson's talc-based products caused their cancer since 2016. A trial in California is still ongoing. All of these cases so far have happened in the US, despite the ingredients being the same.

Featured Image Credit: Johnson & Johnson

Topics: News

Marianne Eloise

Marianne writes about TV, film and internet culture for Nylon, VICE, The Guardian, Vulture, Time Out and more. She was previously a staff writer at Dazed.

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