A 24-year-old man from California who claimed that the talc in Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder caused his cancer was given $18.8 million on Tuesday as compensation in his lawsuit against the firm.
But because a bankruptcy court injunction has frozen legal procedures for claims over Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products, Anthony “Emory” Hernandez Valadez, a mesothelioma patient, is unlikely to see the money anytime soon.
And the only reason US Chief Bankruptcy Judge Michael Kaplan let Valadez’s case proceed as an exception is because of his rapidly deteriorating health.
Valadez claimed that Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder contained asbestos and claimed that his mother frequently applied the product to him as a child.
Mesothelioma, the ailment he has, is a rare and aggressive cancer of the tissue encircling the body’s major organs that is frequently linked to asbestos exposure.
Johnson & Johnson Faces Legal Battle Over Baby Powder and Cancer Link
“This will take his life,” his attorney Joe Satterley told the jury in June. At the time, Satterley said that Valadez’s physicians now believe he won’t survive the summer, despite earlier predictions that the 24-year-old would not survive through December 2022.
According to Valadez, if his mother had known about the health concerns associated with Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder, she would have refrained from using it.
The California jury awarded Valadez $18.8 million from Johnson & Johnson as restitution for his medical expenses and cancer-related misery.
According to Johnson & Johnson, erroneous rulings barred it from disclosing critical facts that demonstrated Valadez’s cancer was unrelated to its baby powder. As a result, the company plans to appeal the decision.
Erik Haas, the company’s vice president of litigation, stated in a statement that without the benefit of that evidence, the verdict is irreconcilable with the decades of independent scientific evaluations confirming Johnson’s Baby Powder is safe, does not contain asbestos, and does not cause cancer.