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$18,800,000 Mesothelioma Verdict for User of Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder

An Oakland, California jury found that defendant Johnson & Johnson, the producer of Johnson’s Baby Powder, was negligent, manufactured a defective product, and failed to adequately warn consumers of its talc powder product’s asbestos content and related health hazards. The jury also found that Johnson & Johnson was 100% liable. (Emory Hernandez Valadez v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., Alameda County Superior Court Case No. 22CV012759).

In 2022, Mr. Valadez was 24 years-old when he was diagnosed with pericardial mesothelioma. He was exposed to asbestos through his and his family’s lifetime use of Johnson’s Baby Powder, beginning when he was born in 1998 and decades thereafter.

Kazan Law attorneys Joseph D. Satterley, Denyse Clancy and Michael Reid represented Mr. Valadez.

Evidence introduced during this trial showed that Johnson & Johnson knew decades before Mr. Valadez was born that their Johnson’s Baby Powder talc product contained carcinogenic asbestos, asbestiform fibers, and asbestiform talc. Despite this knowledge, Johnson & Johnson failed to warn about its product’s hazards, chose to not replace talc with a known safer alternative (cornstarch), and created talc-testing protocols that Johnson & Johnson knew were inaccurate and unreliable, so that it could be sure they wouldn’t find the asbestos Johnson & Johnson knew was there.

The jury awarded Mr. Valadez $7,500,000 in damages for his past pain and suffering, $7,500,000 for future pain and suffering, as well as $3,800,000 in economic damages.  Johnson & Johnson twice stalled the trial of the case by filing fraudulent bankruptcies.  Johnson & Johnson is one of the most financially stable companies in the world and the appellate court determined it was wrong for them to use bankruptcy to stall mesothelioma lawsuits.

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