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As pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson, Colgate-Palmolive, and their wholesale suppliers face a new slew of trials in 2019, New York City’s specialized asbestos court is expected to become a hotbed of litigation as plaintiffs accuse the company of causing their serious medical conditions to develop. Juries in the New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCLAL) court handed down two plaintiffs verdicts against Johnson & Johnson in 2018 and the company reportedly settled a third case for $1.5 million.

Despite insisting that a substantial $4.7 billion plaintiffs verdict in an October 2018 in St, Louis was a “one off” case, Johnson & Johnson could be on the hook for millions, if not billions more, in compensation in NYCAL courts alone. The venue is known for plaintiff-friendly judges, juries, and evidentiary rules that produce plaintiffs verdicts and the compensation necessary to help victims and their families live comfortable, dignified lives.

In response to a series of articles about the dangers and liabilities of its talc-based products and upcoming trials concerning them, Johnson & Johnson released a statement saying “The decision to resolve any particular case in no way changes our overall position that our talc is safe, is asbestos free and does not cause cancer. We do not have any organized program to settle Johnson’s Baby Powder cases, nor are we planning a settlement program.”

Pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson reportedly settled a talcum powder cancer lawsuit for the first time ever in early January. That case involved a New York woman who claimed her rare form of cancer was caused by exposure to asbestos in Johnson & Johnson products like Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. The $1.5 million settlement is the first of its kind for Johnson & Johnson, which as of yet vigorously defended several other similar claims against it.

The asbestos cancer lawsuit, filed in New York state court, claimed that the 78-year-old plaintiff developed mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer, from years of exposure to asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products. The mesothelioma cancer lawsuit also accused Johnson & Johnson’s talc supplier, Imerys Talc USA, of negligence for supplying the carcinogenic materials that the plaintiff claimed caused her illness.

“In litigation of every nature there are one-off situations where settlement is a reasonable alternative,” said J&J. “The decision to resolve any particular case in no way changes our overall position that our talc is safe, is asbestos free and does not cause cancer.” Johnson & Johnson is currently facing an estimated 11,700 other talcum powder cancer lawsuits across the country and has several trials scheduled for 2019.

A recent report published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians shed some revealing light on cancer statistics across the globe, including the most commonly diagnosed types of cancers and their mortality rates across genders. According to the report, compiled by researchers employed by the American Cancer Society, lung cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer and the one with the highest mortality rate overall, particularly among men but also among women, worldwide.

Using the GLOBOCAN 2018 estimates of cancer incidence and mortality produced by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the researchers found that there were an estimated 18.1 million new cancer cases (17.0 million excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer) and 9.6 million cancer deaths (9.5 million excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer) in 2018. Across both sexes, instances of lung cancer accounted for 11.6% of the total cases and the leading cause of cancer death at 18.4% of the total cancer deaths.

Those mortality rates were closely followed by female breast cancer (11.6%), prostate cancer (7.1%), and colorectal cancer (6.1%) for incidence and colorectal cancer (9.2%), stomach cancer (8.2%), and liver cancer (8.2%) for mortality rate. The most common type of cancer and the one which has the highest mortality rate among men is lung cancer, followed by prostate cancer and colorectal cancer for incidence and liver and stomach cancer for mortality. Lung cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed form of cancer among women and the second highest in mortality.

An Arkansas federal jury recently handed down a substantial plaintiff’s verdict in an asbestos mesothelioma lawsuit filed by the family of a man who worked at a brake shop in Little Rock during the 1970s. The lawsuit named Honeywell International Inc., which years ago bought Allied Signal, a company that had acquired Bendix, which was one of the principal manufacturers of brake-shoe linings in the country.

According to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, the plaintiff developed mesothelioma in late 2017 from years of exposure to asbestos while working as an auto mechanic installing brake shoes. Court records show that the plaintiffs claimed the victim worked at Stuart’s Brake Shop in Little Rock and North Little Rock from 1971 until 1983, frequently performing up to one dozen brake jobs a day.

The plaintiff passed away a short time after his mesothelioma diagnosis, and his family has continued with the lawsuit on behalf of his estate along with the help of their mesothelioma lawyers. In ruling on behalf of the plaintiff, the jurors awarded the victim’s estate $216,000 for loss of life, $5 million for his pain and suffering and $341,979 for his medical expenses. The bulk of the recovery came from an additional $1 million the jury awarded to each of the victim’s children and additional $10 million in punitive damages.

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