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Articles Posted in Asbestos

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.

A New York state appeals court recently heard arguments in a case brought by a plaintiff who claims he developed mesothelioma cancer after he signed a settlement release with the company he accused of causing his mesothelioma cancer by exposure to asbestos. The New York Court of Appeals will decide whether part of the Federal Employer’s Liability Act negates a settlement release signed by the plaintiff in the case nearly two-decades ago and allow his claim against his previous employer to move forward.

The plaintiff in the case originally brought his asbestos lawsuit against Texaco in 2014, claiming he developed mesothelioma cancer while he served as a seaman in the Merchant Marine for nearly 40 years. The plaintiff had filed a previous lawsuit against Texaco, along with more than 100 other individuals, in federal court during the 1990s over a pulmonary injury suffered from exposure to asbestos and second-hand smoke on merchant ships.

Texaco and the plaintiff resolved the first claim, with the plaintiff and other co-plaintiffs signing settlement releases which sought to discharge the company from any future liability over the health effects of asbestos exposure. The settlement release read in part the plaintiff “understands that the long term effects of exposure to asbestos … may result in obtaining a new and different diagnosis from the diagnosis as of the date of this release.”

A New York state Supreme Court judge recently issued an important ruling allowing a mesothelioma cancer lawsuit against cigarette manufacturer R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and its supplier Hollingsworth & Vose. The mesothelioma cancer lawsuit claims that the defendants knew or should have known the asbestos contained in their cigarette filters were dangerous and could cause serious health problems for consumers.

According to the asbestos cancer lawsuit, filed in the Supreme Court of New York County, the plaintiff developed pleural mesothelioma as a result of smoking Kent brand cigarettes, marketed and sold by R.J. Reynolds with materials sourced by Hollingsworth & Vose, in the 1950s. The plaintiff alleges the filters in those cigarettes contained asbestos, which the defendants were aware could cause health complications.

The defendants filed various motions to have the case thrown out of court and dismissed without a trial, claiming they should not be held liable for the plaintiff’s injuries because the health effects of asbestos exposure were not widely known at the time the plaintiff smoked Kent brand cigarettes. Asbestos has only been regulated by the federal government since the 1970s, but due to its widespread use before restrictions were adopted, many companies were fully aware that their asbestos laden products posed a danger to the general public.

A recent report by Reuters claims that pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson knew for decades about the risk of asbestos contaminating its talc-based products, but did nothing to warn consumers about the dangers of exposure to the deadly carcinogen. Those claims come after the news outlet examined thousands of pages of internal company documents going back to the 1970s through the early 2000s that show Johnson & Johnson withheld information about asbestos from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

According to the article, Johnson & Johnson’s first recorded knowledge of potential asbestos contamination in its talc comes from 1957 and 1958 reports by a consulting lab describing contaminants in its products from the supplier. Those contaminants were described by the consulting lab as fibrous and acicular tremolite, one of the six-naturally occuring forms of asbestos.

Over the next several decades, other reports by Johnson & Johnson’s own scientists, outside consulting labs, and suppliers would show similar findings, including one identifying contaminants in the talc as “fiberform” and “rods.” Despite these obvious red flags, Johnson & Johnson chose not to put any warning labels on its talc-based products and allowed its potentially deadly items to remain on the market.

A federal jury recently handed down a $32.7 million award to the widow of a North Carolina man who passed away from a mesothelioma his estate claimed was due to asbestos exposure facilitated by hazardous conditions created by the defendants in the case. The mesothelioma cancer lawsuit named a pipe insulation supplier, Covil Corporation, as the main defendant in the case, alleging the company knowingly supplied carcinogenic materials for workers at the Firestone tire factory where the victim worked.

According to the asbestos cancer lawsuit, filed in August 2016 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, the now deceased victim in the case was frequently exposed to deadly asbestos fibers while working at a Firestone tire factory from 1975 to 1995. The mesothelioma lawsuit claims that exposure took place due to asbestos-contaminated insulation supplied by the defendant, Covil Corporation.

Despite knowing full well the dangers its asbestos insulation products posed to workers at the Firestone tire plant, Covil Corporation made no attempt to provide warnings about the dangers of exposure to asbestos in its products, according to the lawsuit. After five days of testimony, the federal jury took just two hours to decide in favor of the victim and awarded his surviving spouse $32.7 million in compensatory damages for the harm brought on by the defendant’s negligence.

A Pennsylvania couple recently filed an asbestos cancer lawsuit in a Philadelphia court against several companies over allegations that the defendants knowingly manufactured and sold carcinogenic talc-based products that caused the victim’s cancer diagnosis. The asbestos lawsuit names cosmetics and pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, its talc supplier Imerys Talc USA, Rite Aid Corporation, and Walgreen Co. as defendants and seeks compensation for the victim’s injuries.

According to the asbestos cancer lawsuit, filed in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, the female plaintiff developed ovarian cancer after years of using talcum powder products manufactured by Johnson & Johnson with contaminated talc sourced by Imerys Talc USA. The plaintiff further alleges that she purchased the defective products at both Rite Aid and Walgreens stores throughout the years, which knew or should have known Johnson & Johnson’s products posed a danger to the public.

The plaintiffs’ lawsuit in this case is one of thousands Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc USA are facing across the country over allegations that the companies sold asbestos-contaminated talcum powder products for decades but did not put warning labels on items like Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. Some of those cases claim the victims developed ovarian cancer as a result, like the plaintiff in this case, while others assert their mesothelioma cancer diagnosis came about as a result of asbestos exposure from talc.

A New York judge recently ordered pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson to stand trial in an asbestos cancer lawsuit brought by a plaintiff who claims he developed an aggressive form of cancer due to carcinogenic materials contained in products manufactured by the defendant. Johnson & Johnson had filed a motion for summary judgement, seeking to have the case thrown out of court and avoid any liability for knowingly manufacturing deadly products without warning consumers about the risks.

According to the asbestos cancer lawsuit, filed in the Supreme Court of New York County, the plaintiff developed pleural mesothelioma at the age of 76 after decades of using Baby Powder and other talc-based products developed and sold by Johnson & Johnson. The plaintiff claims she did not suffer from any industrial asbestos exposure at her work place and that the only possible source for the exposure came from the carcinogenic asbestos in the talcum powders she used.

Although talc, a naturally occurring mineral, does not contain asbestos fibers itself, the two are often found in deposits side by side one another, which can cause a risk of contamination if certain precautions are not taken. Asbestos itself has been heavily regulated since the 1970s when the federal government enacted legislation to protect the public from the known risks of asbestos exposure. However, even before regulators stepped in, many companies were fully aware of the risks their products posed and continued to manufacture dangerously designed and defective materials.

If you are a firefighter, you know you have a job fraught with risks, but you may not have realized that mesothelioma is one of them. Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive type of cancer associated with asbestos exposure, and firefighters are about twice as likely to develop it than the general population, according to a study completed in 2015 by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Because asbestos was included in many building materials manufactured through the 1980s, you can be exposed to it at fires in people’s homes, local businesses or area industrial sites. As the asbestos filled products burn they break down, dispersing asbestos particles in the air and smoke.

In addition to your exposure at fires, you also can be exposed to asbestos at your fire hall from contamination on tools and gear or the construction materials of the hall itself. Some early firefighting gear was even made with asbestos.

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