Another US jury verdict goes against Johnson and Johnson’s talcum powder— a product that is popular in India too


  • A court in the US state of California ordered Johnson & Johnson to compensate a woman to the tune of $29 million for cancer complications she developed from using the company’s talcum powder.
  • Johnson’s Baby Powder is immensely popular across the world, including India where its manufactured locally.
  • The ruling sets an obvious precedent for the pharma and consumer goods giant as it faces thousands of lawsuits from other plaintiffs for similar reasons.
  • In July last year, J&J was ordered to pay $4.7 billion to 22 ovarian cancer patients by a court in the US state of Missouri. It unsuccessfully appealed the verdict.
A court in the US state of California ordered Johnson & Johnson to compensate a woman to the tune of $29 million for cancer complications she developed from using the company’s talcum powder, according to media reports.

The woman had alleged that traces of asbestos in J&J’s products such as Johnson’s baby powder led to her contracting mesothelioma, a form of cancer that affects the lungs and heart.

The ruling sets an obvious precedent for the pharma and consumer goods giant as it faces thousands of lawsuits from other plaintiffs for similar reasons.

In July last year, J&J was ordered to pay $4.7 billion to 22 ovarian cancer patients by a court in the US state of Missouri. It unsuccessfully appealed the verdict.

Similarly, J&J is expected to appeal the latest verdict. In December last year, the company reiterated the safety of its products as a slew of drug regulators around the world such as the US FDA and India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) analysed samples of J&J products.

Johnson’s Baby Powder is immensely popular across the world, including India where its manufactured locally.

A few weeks ago, sources told Reuters that India’s CDCSO had failed to find traces of asbestos in J&J’s talcum powder.

The investigations followed a Reuters report that claimed that J&J knew about the presence of asbestos traces in its products for the last 50 years and failed to disclose this to national regulators and customers. The report led to the erosion of nearly $40 billion of the company’s market capitalisation on one day.

In February 2018, the US Securities and Exchange Commission formally subpoenaed the company over its talcum powder products.


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