Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay millions in damages to a woman who claimed her cancer was caused by using the company’s baby powder
This week a California jury ordered that Joanne Anderson, 66, be paid damages to the tune of $US25.7 million ($A34 million) after finding Johnson & Johnson had acted with malice, oppression or fraud.
The jury recommended Ms Anderson be awarded $US21.7 million in compensatory damages and $US4 million in punitive damages, finding Johnson & Johnson 67% responsible for her mesothelioma, a cancer linked to asbestos exposure.
The remainder of the compensation payout was distributed among other defendants.
Ms Anderson claimed Johnson & Johnson had failed to adequately warn consumers that its powder contains asbestos and could cause cancer, according to The Washington Post.
Johnson & Johnson “engaged in a multi-decade campaign wherein they hid testing data” from regulators and altered reports to make them more favourable, said one of Ms Anderson’s trial attorneys.
However the company said it would appeal.
“We will continue to defend the safety of our product because it does not contain asbestos or cause mesothelioma,” Johnson & Johnson said in a statement.
Similar allegations have led to a string of lawsuits against the company.
Late last year, a US judge threw out a $US417m ($A533 million) award to a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer by using Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based baby powder.
“Ovarian cancer is a devastating disease – but it is not caused by the cosmetic-grade talc we have used in Johnson’s Baby Powder for decades,” spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said in a statement.
“The science is clear and we will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder as we prepare for additional trials in the US.”