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Earlier this month, Johnson & Johnson experienced its first loss in a talcum powder lawsuit related to asbestos after a New Jersey jury ordered the pharmaceutical company and its talc supplier to pay $37 million in damages to Stephen and Kendra Lanzo. Furthermore, punitive damages will be considered in the second phase of the trial, which started a few days after this ruling.
The jury awarded $30 million to Stephen, who claims he developed mesothelioma after using Johnson & Johnson Shower to Shower and Baby Powder products from 1972 to 2003. On the other hand, Kendra was awarded $7 million in damages.
The company was held 70 percent liable in the case, which means that are required to pay $25.9 million. Imerys SA, a talc supplier based in France, is liable for the remaining 30 percent, or $11.1 million.
On November 16, J&J obtained a landmark victory in the first trial centering on claims that the company’s product contained asbestos. The Los Angeles Superior Court jury ruled in favor of company and Imerys in the lawsuit filed by Tina Herford, who claimed she developed mesothelioma after using J&J’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower talc products during a 35-year span.
The company continues to deny that its products ever included traces of asbestos fibers or caused cancer. In Lanzo’s case, represents of J&J came up with various theories for the source of Stephen Lanzo’s mesothelioma, which includes the fact that 60 feet of asbestos-wrapped pipe was found in the basement of his childhood home.
Originally Lanzo’s trial was supposed to start in early January, but was delayed after a pretrial evidentiary dispute involving the plaintiff’s tissue sample. According to reports, the sample showed the presence of a type of asbestos used in commercial settings and not associated with prior talc cases. However, the judge ruled that the sample could not be used due to being a late introduction.
Gwen Myers, Imerys spokeswoman, said the company plans to appeal the verdict.
J&J currently faces over 6,600 talc-related lawsuits. The vast majority of these cases believe the company’s products cause women to develop ovarian cancer.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease because of continuous use of a Johnson & Johnson product over a long period of time, contact our Florida lawyers at The Ferraro Law Firm today.
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