J&J, Imerys’ $177 million talc verdict will stand

2 Jul 2018 by under Legal

talc justice 100x100 J&J, Imerys $177 million talc verdict will stand and its talc supplier Inc., were unable to sway a New Jersey state judge to nix $117 million in damages the companies were saddled with by a jury that found the companies knowingly sold asbestos-tainted talc to a man, which contributed to his mesothelioma.

Superior Court Judge Ana C. Viscomi said the $37 million compensatory damages and combined $80 million in punitive damages awarded to plaintiff Stephen Lanzo III and his wife in April “do not shock the judicial conscience,” and would stand.

Lanzo reportedly used Johnson’s Baby Powder and other talcum powder products made by Johnson & Johnson for decades, unaware that the talc contained in the products was – he alleged – laced with asbestos, a carcinogenic fibrous mineral. Asbestos exposure causes serious illnesses including the inflammatory lung disease asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs as well as other internal organs.

Lanzo said he was never warned by Johnson & Johnson that its talcum powder products could cause serious illnesses.

Evidence presented at Lanzo’s trial included “uncontested medical opinions” about Lanzo’s disease and prognosis, as well as the pain and suffering mesothelioma causes its victims. Especially damning was evidence that a doctor with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., advised the company about “health concerns because of asbestos in the talcum powder,” Judge Viscomi said.

“This was a jury who collectively paid close attention to the evidence,” Judge Viscomi said.

Sources:
Law360
MyMeso.org

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