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California Jury Finds Defendant’s Talc Did Not Contain Asbestos

CALIFORNIA — In Blinkinsop v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., a California jury found that a defendant’s talcum powder did not contain asbestos, and therefore rejected the plaintiff’s claims that his use of the defendant’s products caused his mesothelioma. The plaintiff’s case was filed in September 2017, two months after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, alleging that his use of personal care products up through the 1980s caused his “likely terminal” illness. Following a five-week trial, a Long Beach jury deliberated for less than 24 hours in returning a unanimous verdict in favor of Johnson & Johnson, which then released a statement that the jury held that the defendant’s baby power did not contain asbestos and did not cause Blinkinsop’s disease. Furthermore, J&J’s counsel stated that “this conclusion is aligned to the decades of clinical evidence and scientific studies by medical experts around the world that support the safety of [the defendant’s] baby powder.”

The plaintiff’s counsel confirmed the verdict via email, and stated that their legal team continues to have “no doubts” that there is asbestos in the defendant’s talcum powder products, in light of hundreds of the defendant’s own historical testing results showing the presence of asbestos in its talc. In a public statement issued by the plaintiff’s counsel, counsel stated that they found the same types of asbestos historically in the defendant’s baby powder in his client’s lung and lymph node tissue in the Blinkinsop case. Counsel further criticized the defendant’s “deceptive” testing methods on its talc, and said that asbestos in baby powder is a public health concern that warrants more oversight of the cosmetic talc industry.

The full case decision can be found here.