Johnson & Johnson To Shell Out Nearly $19 Million To Customer Who Says Baby Powder Gave Him Cancer

(Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Font Size:

Johnson & Johnson’s has been ordered to pay out nearly $19 million to a California man who claimed he developed cancer after exposure to the company’s baby powder.

A California jury has awarded $18.8 million to Emory Hernandez Valdez after he claimed to have developed mesothelioma, a deadly cancer surrounding the tissue of his heart, from exposure to Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based baby powder since childhood, Reuters reported.

According to the jury, Hernandez should be compensated by the company for his medical bills as well as his pain and suffering. The jury, however, declined to award Hernandez the punitive damages he sought from the company, the outlet stated.

Johnson & Johnson’s lawyers argued there was no evidence that Hernandez’s cancer was linked to the company’s baby powder while Hernandez’s lawyers argued that Johnson & Johnson was guilty of a “despicable” decades-long coverup of asbestos contamination in their product, the outlet stated.

In 2019, Johnson & Johnson recalled a single lot of its baby powder from the shelves after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found sub-trace amounts of chrysotile asbestos in a sample of J&J baby powder purchased from an online retailer. (RELATED: Johnson & Johnson Prepares For Lawsuits Over Allegedly Cancer-Causing Products, Sets Aside $3.9 Billion For Expenses)

The company has indicated it will appeal the verdict with Johnson & Johnson Vice President of litigation Erik Haas stating the ruling was “irreconcilable with the decades of independent scientific evaluations confirming Johnson’s Baby Powder is safe, does not contain asbestos and does not cause cancer.”