A jury ordered the Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc America to pay a combined $117 million in damages to a New Jersey man and his family after finding he developed mesothelioma from inhaling asbestos particles over decades of use of Johnson & Johnson products.

A jury, on April 11, 2018, ordered the drug company to pay a combined $117 million in damages to a New Jersey man Stephen Lanzo and his family who claimed his long-term use of asbestos-contaminated J&J talcum powder caused him to develop mesothelioma, aggressive cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs.

talc asbestos lawsuitThe $117 million verdicts against Johnson & Johnson and Imerys included $37 million in damages to Lanzo and his wife over his cancer diagnosis. Jurors found that J&J was 70% responsible for Lanzo’s cancer diagnosis and that Imerys was 30% reliable. The jury awarded Lanzo $30 million in damages, as well as an additional $7 million in damages to his wife.

After deciding on the $37 million awards, jurors in the case met again to consider punitive damages. The jury agreed that Johnson & Johnson and Imerys should pay a combined $80 million in punitive damages. The $80 million awards of punitive damages included $25 million in damages against Imerys and $55 million in damages against Johnson & Johnson.

Imerys spokeswoman Gwen Myers stated after the decision,

“Our hearts go out to those affected by all forms of cancer. We are disappointed by the jury’s decision, but we remain confident that talc did not cause Mr. Lanzo’s cancer,” Myers said.

“The evidence was clear that his asbestos exposure came from a different source such as the asbestos found in his childhood home or schools, and the jury’s decision is inconsistent with a recently published study of workers who mined and milled talc all day over the course of more than 50 years that did not find a single case of mesothelioma.”

Where is the Link between Talc and Asbestos?

Talc or talcum powder, a common ingredient in cosmetics, baby powder, and many other products, has repeatedly been found to be contaminated with asbestos. Asbestos has been shown to cause mesothelioma, a malignant form of cancer that attacks the membrane that lines the chest, abdominal cavity, or heart.

According to the FairWarning report, J&J officials privately acknowledged decades ago that they had an asbestos problem.

They tried to persuade federal regulators that no one would be harmed if talc powder had up to 1 percent asbestos. Moreover, J&J and its industry allies successfully lobbied for a test protocol — still on the books today — that is too crude to detect trace amounts of the carcinogen in talc powders and cosmetics.

Asbestos-related diseases from Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder

According to the lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson has known that its talc products are not asbestos-free for decades but failed to take proper steps to ensure that customers who use the products are not at risk of developing mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases.

The $117 million verdicts against Johnson & Johnson and Imerys included $37 million in damages to Lanzo and his wife over his cancer diagnosis. The jury found that J&J was 70% responsible for Lanzo's cancer diagnosis and that Imerys was 30% reliable. The jury awarded Lanzo $30 million in damages, as well as an additional $7 million in damages to his wife.

After deciding on the $37 million awards, jurors in the case met again to consider punitive damages were warranted or not. The jury agreed that Johnson & Johnson and Imerys should pay a combined $80 million in punitive damages. The $80 award of punitive damages included $55 million in damages against Johnson & Johnson and $25 million in damages against Imerys.

Cited Article Sources

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This