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J&J and Talc Supplier Imerys Ordered to Pay Plaintiffs $80 Million in Punitive Damages

After already handing down a $37 million verdict in favor of the plaintiffs at the conclusion of a two-month asbestos cancer trial, a New Jersey state jury recently handed down a staggering $80 million in punitive damages against the defendants. In reaching their decision, the jury determined that pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier Imerys acted with recklessness when they produced asbestos-contaminated talc products knowing full well of the dangers posed to consumers.


The Middlesex County Superior Court jury apportioned $55 million of the punitive damages to be paid by Johnson & Johnson while Imerys will be responsible for the remaining $25 million in addition to compensatory damages already handed down. The verdict and awards are significant as it is the first plaintiff's verdict against the defendants over allegations that the pair knowingly put thousands of innocent people at risk of developing mesothelioma and other serious forms of deadly cancer.


According to the plaintiff's lawsuit, the victim developed mesothelioma from years of asbestos exposure due to using the tainted talcum powder products produced by the defendants. Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of cancer that commonly affects thin linings of tissues surrounding vital organs like the heart, lungs, and abdomen and is directly linked to asbestos exposure.


Because of the decades-long latency period between exposure and diagnosis, mesothelioma cancer victims are often left with limited medical treatment options to stop the spread of the disease. Often times, victims only have short period left to live after receiving their diagnosis which means they may not live to see the asbestos company held responsible for their negligence.


During the trial, the defendants denied any wrongdoing in the matter, claiming that the talc used in the Johnson & Johnson products did not contain any type of asbestos. Defense attorneys argued that the victim could have developed his mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos at his childhood home or even the schools he attended. Fortunately, the jury sided with the plaintiffs and handed down a substantial verdict with punitive damages to send a message to Johnson & Johnson and others.


Johnson & Johnson also faces thousands of other trials across the country over claims that its talc-based products are responsible for causing ovarian cancer in thousands of women and that the company knew of the risks but continued to sell their products anyway. Verdicts in those cases have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in judgements against Johnson & Johnson and hope for victims that the pharmaceutical and cosmetics company will be held accountable for its indifference to public safety.


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If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.

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