The latest case accusing Johnson & Johnson of knowing its talcum powders caused cancer ended in a deadlock.
Kirk Von Salzen, 74, sued the consumer health care giant alleging he used Johnson’s Baby Powder for about 30 years, as well as talc products from other manufacturers. He claimed that J&J knew the talc it used contained cancer-causing asbestos but refused to warn consumers of the risks of asbestos exposure. As a result, he claims he developed mesothelioma in 2017, and was seeking more than $12 million in damages.
Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form a cancer that develops in the lining that surrounds the lungs or abdomen. It is caused by asbestos exposure, and can take up to five decades to develop.
The Los Angeles jury deliberated for several days but was hopelessly deadlocked with an 8-4 vote against Johnson & Johnson. A state judge ruled a mistrial – the second straight in cases linking J&J’s talcum powder to mesothelioma. Just more than a week ago a Pasadena jury deadlocked over similar mesothelioma claims.
Von Salzen’s attorney said he was satisfied that the majority of jurors sided with his client, finding that Johnson & Johnson was “callous with some safety protocols that led to the allowance of asbestos in their talc products, which caused Von Salzen’s disease.”
Johnson & Johnson faces about 10,000 talc lawsuits linking its talcum powders to cancer. The majority of cases allege that regular use of the company’s talcum powder on the genitals for feminine hygiene caused women to develop ovarian cancer. In July, a Missouri jury awarded $4.69 billion to 22 women who sued the company claiming asbestos in its talc caused ovarian cancer.