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New Jersey Jury Hits Johnson & Johnson with $37 Million Verdict in Asbestos Talcum Powder Lawsuit

A New Jersey state jury recently handed down a substantial verdict in favor of the plaintiff in a groundbreaking talcum powder asbestos cancer lawsuit filed against pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson. After weeks of testimony, the jury awarded the plaintiff $37 million in damages to the plaintiff who claimed he developed mesothelioma after years of inhaling asbestos-contaminated talc products produced by the defendants.


The Middlesex Superior Court jury determined that Johnson & Johnson was 70% responsible for the plaintiff's mesothelioma diagnosis and France-based talc supplier Imerys was liable for the remaining 30% of damages. The verdict came on the first full day of deliberations after two months of testimony in which both sides argued vigorously for their positions and multiple expert witnesses were called to testify.


During the trial, Johnson & Johnson's defense lawyers argued that the plaintiff could have contracted mesothelioma from various other sources. It noted that the house in Montclair, New Jersey where the plaintiff grew up once had asbestos-wrapped pipes and that the public schools attended were also treated for asbestos at some point in the past. Fortunately, jurors sided with the plaintiff and his wife and awarded them the appropriate amount of compensation for their damages.


The jurors are scheduled to return to the courthouse to determine whether or not the defendants should be held liable for additional punitive damages. Although rare, punitive damages are a special type of compensation awarded to plaintiffs as a way to punish defendants for especially egregious behavior as a means to ensure others do not engage in similarly negligent conduct.


According to the asbestos cancer lawsuit, the plaintiff developed his condition after inhaling dust from J&J baby powder from approximately 1972 to roughly 2003. Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of cancer that commonly affects the thin linings of tissue surrounding vital organs like the lungs, heart, and abdomen. The disease is directly linked to asbestos exposure and there is no known cure.


While talc does not contain asbestos fibers itself, deposits of both minerals are commonly found side by side in nature and unless special precautions are taken to separate any contaminated materials. Use of asbestos in commercial and industrial applications has been banned in the country since the federal government finally stepped in and imposed stringent regulations in the mid-1970s.


Johnson & Johnson faces thousands of other lawsuits across the country over serious medical conditions linked to its talc-based products. Many involve other claims of mesothelioma while others concern links between women using the product and developing ovarian cancer as a result of prolonged use.


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If you or a loved one was 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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