J&J must pay $18.8 million to California cancer patient in baby powder suit

July 22, 2023 - 9:43 AM
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Bottles of Johnson & Johnson baby powder line a drugstore shelf in New York October 15, 2015. (Reuters/Lucas Jackson/File Photo)

Johnson & Johnson’s JNJ.N must pay $18.8 million to a California man who said he developed cancer from exposure to its baby powder, a jury decided on Tuesday, a setback for the company as it seeks to settle thousands of similar cases over its talc-based products in U.S. bankruptcy court.

The jury ruled in favor of Emory Hernandez Valadez, who filed suit last year in California state court in Oakland against J&J, seeking monetary damages. Hernandez, 24, has said he developed mesothelioma, a deadly cancer, in the tissue around his heart as a result of heavy exposure to the company’s talc since childhood. The six-week trial was the first over talc that New Brunswick, New Jersey-based J&J has faced in almost two years.

—Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Will Dunham