Juror Shortage Delays New York City Talcum Powder Cancer Trial

Published on November 30, 2018 by Laurie Villanueva

New York City’s first talcum powder cancer trial has been postponed, after a Manhattan Superior Court Judge determined that there were not enough jurors to sit for the case.

Talcum Powder Plaintiff Has Mesothelioma

According to Law.com, the talcum powder lawsuit will now go to trial in January.

Plaintiff Ann Zoas suffers from malignant mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos. The 78-year-old Long Island resident claims that asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s popular talc-based body powders led to her 2017 diagnosis.

Zoas smoked for much of her life, and previously had throat cancer.  She maintains that asbestos was never present in her workplace.

Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Asbestos Verdicts

Johnson & Johnson is named a defendant in more than 10,000 talcum powder cancer lawsuits currently pending in court throughout the United States.

So far, 10 asbestos claims have gone to trial.

Most recently, a Missouri jury awarded a combined $4.7 billion to 22 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer allegedly caused by asbestos-tainted talcum powder.

Although the trial judge affirmed the talcum powder cancer verdict in August, Johnson & Johnson has appealed.

Asbestos plaintiffs also won two mesothelioma trials, including a California case that concluded in May with a $25 million verdict. A month earlier, a New Jersey jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $117 million to another mesothelioma plaintiff.

Nationwide, three juries have returned verdicts for Johnson & Johnson, while mistrials have been declared in four asbestos cases.

Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Verdicts

So far, however, the majority of talcum powder lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson do not involve claims of asbestos tainted-talc.

Instead, plaintiffs claim that the regular and repeated use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene causes talc particles to accumulate in ovarian tissue. Over time, the build-up of talc allegedly causes inflammation that may lead to cancer.

Since February 2015, Missouri has tried 6 of these cases. So far, juries have awarded plaintiffs damages ranging from $55 million to $417 million.

However, the court has dismissed two verdicts.

For its part, Johnson & Johnson vehemently denies that its talcum powders ever contained asbestos and  disputes any contention that the products cause cancer.

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