Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson is no stranger to being saddled with large jury verdicts for their contaminated and faulty products. In Manhattan, a jury returned a verdict against Johnson & Johnson for $325 million payable to Donna Olson and her husband, who’ve claimed that asbestos-contaminated talcum in the company’s powder led Ms. Olson to develop mesothelioma, a deadly disease.
The jury awarded the plaintiff (Ms. Olson) $25 million in compensatory damages and $300 million in punitive damages, meaning that $300 million was awarded strictly to punish Johnson & Johnson for their compromised product.
Johnson & Johnson has remained adamant that its talcum powder has never contained asbestos, and are safe for use. This statement was contradicted by evidence revealed at trial, proving that Johnson & Johnson possessed internal documents showing that their talcum powder products contained asbestos in 1957.
Johnson & Johnson faces more than 14,000 lawsuits claiming its talc-based powders “Shower to Shower” and “Johnson’s Baby Powder” have caused ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. In December of 2018, J & J lost their bid to reverse a $4.7 billion dollar verdict awarded to 22 women that had developed ovarian cancer.
Even in the face of a staggering number of lawsuits and jury verdicts, Johnson & Johnson has maintained the stance that these verdicts are a result of overzealous plaintiff’s lawyers providing misinformation, rather than the numerous documents indicating the corporate giant has known of this product contamination for more than six decades.