On Tuesday, a Manhattan jury joined the growing ranks of other juries from several States that found a link between long term use of baby powder (talc) and cancer. The jury awarded $25,000,000 in compensatory damages to plaintiff Donna Olson who claimed that she had regularly used Johnson & Johnson's talc baby powder between 1953 and 2015. She was diagnosed with a deadly form of lung cancer called mesothelioma. During the trial the jury heard experts from both sides debate whether the talcum baby powder contains asbestos. It was claimed that Johnson & Johnson knew from the "voluminous published medical and scientific" studies linking talcum powder to asbestos and cancer since the 1930's.
Justice Gerald Lebovits will also preside over the second stage of the trial for a jury to determine the amount of any punitive damages to be assessed against Johnson & Johnson for distributing this product without any warning of the potentially deadly risks. There are thousands of other claims filed against Johnson & Johnson on behalf of women who claim that the talcum baby powder caused ovarian cancer. Several of these cases have resulted in enormous verdicts for plaintiffs, though at least two have been defense verdicts.