Illinois Jury Awards $45M in Mesothelioma Case Against Johnson & Johnson, Kenvue

A verdict has been reached in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chicago, holding Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and its subsidiaries accountable for the asbestos-related demise of a mother and grandmother. The jury awarded the family $45 million in damages after determining that Theresa Garcia’s consistent use of talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder and other associated products led to her mesothelioma—a terminal cancer of the lung lining triggered by asbestos exposure. Laboratory tests revealed the presence of asbestos in certain samples of Johnson’s Baby Powder.

This trial comes on the heels of two bankruptcy filings by Johnson & Johnson, which temporarily halted litigation in this and numerous other cases concerning asbestos and talc.

Jessica Dean, representing Ms. Garcia’s family alongside Ben Adams, Mark Buha, and Christian Luciano Santiago, emphasized the long-awaited justice. “After enduring years of delay due to Johnson & Johnson’s misuse of the bankruptcy system, we are thankful that the jury saw through their deceit. The defendants were aware of asbestos impurities in talc, which found their way into the bottles of baby powder sold by J&J,” stated Dean. “Their negligence and deception not only betrayed loyal customers like Theresa but also deprived a family of their beloved mother.”

Throughout her life in Chicago, Ms. Garcia, a mother of six, regularly utilized talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder on herself and later on her children.

Evidence presented by Ms. Garcia’s legal team demonstrated that Johnson & Johnson’s talc-containing products harbored asbestos fibers. Experts clarified that the cumulative inhalation of asbestos over Ms. Garcia’s lifetime resulted in her mesothelioma diagnosis in January 2020, leading to her passing in July of the same year.

“Ms. Garcia’s case faced significant delays when Johnson & Johnson filed two insincere bankruptcies in an effort to evade their extensive liabilities,” explained Mr. Adams. “During these bankruptcies, Johnson & Johnson established Kenvue, Inc. (NYSE: KVUE) in a corporate maneuver. The jury determined that Kenvue, as Johnson & Johnson’s successor, bears 70% of Mrs. Garcia’s injuries and death, with 15% of responsibility each attributed to Johnson & Johnson and Johnson & Johnson Holdco, Inc.”

Ms. Garcia is survived by her children Stephanie Salcedo, Vanessa Garcia, Edward Cerda Jr., Jazmine Cerda, Caressa Garcia, and Anyssa Cerda.

The legal proceedings are documented under Stephanie Salcedo et al. vs. Cyprus Amax Minerals Company et al., Case No. 2020 L 004505 in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.

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