New Jersey couple awarded $37 million in talcum powder case
New Jersey couple awarded $37 million in talcum powder case
BREAKING: Jury Awards $37M In 1st New Jersey J&J Talc Trial, Punitive Damages Phase To Follow
08 April, 2018, 01:19
In a nine-week trial on claims that Stephen Lanzo III's terminal illness was caused by his lifelong use of Johnson Baby Powder, J&J lawyers maintained that its products were safe and that lawyers for the plaintiff were mischaracterizing the evidence.
The company and a talc mining company are paying at least this amount to an investment banker who sued the companies for a product that caused him to develop a deadly cancer that is connected with asbestos.
Nonetheless, the jury in Middlesex County Superior court found J&J responsible for 70% of the damages and France-based Imerys responsible for 30 percent of the damages.
The Lanzos' case is just the second to go to trial over claims that asbestos supposedly present in J&J's talc products caused mesothelioma, a fatal cancer that affects tissue lining around the lungs.
Johnson & Johnson spokesman Carol Goodrich told CNN: 'While we are disappointed with this decision, the jury has further deliberations to conduct in this trial and we will reserve additional comment until the case is fully completed.
J&J faces talc-related lawsuits by 6,610 plaintiffs nationally.
In August, an Alabama woman who claimed the products gave her ovarian cancer was awarded $72 million.
"Talc did not cause Mr. Lanzo's cancer", said Gwen Myers, spokesperson for Imerys.
The suit brought by Lanzo and his wife Kendra claims that the company knew the products were contaminated with carcinogenic asbestos but did nothing to warn the public.
The company's lawyers also offered several alternative theories for the source of Lanzo's mesothelioma, including 60 feet of asbestos-wrapped pipe in the basement of his childhood home. "JOHNSON'S Baby Powder products contain only U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) grade talc, which meets the highest quality, purity and compliance standards".
Jurors in a court located less than a mile (1.6 kilometers) from J&J's headquarters awarded Lanzo $30 million for his pain and suffering. "We intend to appeal this decision and will continue to stand by the safety of our product".
On top of the $37 million already awarded the jury could award punitive damages next week, which are generally assessed as punishment for unethical or negligent actions. The sample, according to reports, showed the presence of a type of asbestos used commercially, but never associated with previous talc claims.
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