Four talcum powder suits against Johnson & Johnson are set to proceed this month to trial in the New York City Asbestos Litigation court, where plaintiffs attorneys may be able to wield a formidable weapon in the threat of punitive damages, a remedy that had been unavailable for more than two decades, but to which the door was opened last year.
Johnson & Johnson has had mixed success around the country in court fights with plaintiffs who say that using the company’s baby powder caused cancer.
In April, a New Jersey jury awarded $117 million for a plaintiff, of which $80 million was punitive damages. But several months later, the jury in another talc-powder case found for the defense after a half-hour of deliberations.
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