A California jury awarded more than $26 million to a San Jose woman who claimed Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products led to her developing cancer.

Thirty-five year old Christina Prudencio claimed she was exposed to asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products as a child and later developed mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure. The lawsuit said J&J failed to warn consumers about the risk.

Doctors diagnosed Prudencio with mesothelioma in 2020, and she underwent surgery.

In August 2021, the jury awarded $26.4 million for pain and suffering, and the former preschool teacher received an additional $100,000 jury award for punitive damages. Juries award punitive damages to punish a defendant’s especially harmful behavior.

The jury saw through all of J&J’s lies, Prudencio’s attorney told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Mixed Jury Verdicts Against J&J

After losing Prudencio’s case, J&J won two recent talcum powder ovarian cancer trials. But in May 2021, the company failed to overturn a $2.1 billion jury verdict awarded to 22 women in Missouri who said J&J’s talc-based baby powder caused their ovarian cancer.

Johnson & Johnson stopped selling its talcum powder products in May 2020. The company has said the decision to discontinue selling talc-based baby powder was a financial one and not related to its safety.

J&J faces 36,502 more talcum powder cancer lawsuits in multidistrict litigation in New Jersey federal court from plaintiffs who claim the health care giant’s talcum powder products cause ovarian cancer.

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Plaintiff’s Lawyers: J&J’s Bankruptcy Move ‘Despicable’

Buried under a deluge of talc claims, J&J offloaded its liability for talcum powder lawsuits into an entity called LTL Management LLC. That entity filed for bankruptcy protection in North Carolina in October 2021, Reuters reported.

“We are taking these actions to bring certainty to all parties involved in the cosmetic talc cases,” J&J General Counsel Michael Ullmann told Reuters in a statement.

In another statement to Reuters, Linda Lipsen — chief executive of the American Association for Justice — said plaintiff’s attorneys are calling the bankruptcy “despicable,” and “an unconscionable abuse of the legal system.”