After nearly a two-week-long asbestos cancer trial, pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson agreed to a rare settlement with the plaintiff who alleges she developed a rare and deadly form of lung cancer as a result of using one of the company’s most popular and iconic talc-based products. As part of the settlement, the New Jersey-based company reportedly agreed to pay the plaintiff $2 million and resolve the case without admitting any wrongdoing in the matter.
The settlement is a rare move by Johnson & Johnson, which faces an estimated nearly 17,000 other cases alleging plaintiffs developed serious forms of cancer, including mesothelioma, from using asbestos-contaminated talcum powder products produced and marketed by the company. To date, jurors in state courts in California, Missouri, and New Jersey have handed down verdicts in favor of plaintiffs totaling over $5 billion in total compensation, including punitive damages for what the juries deemed especially reckless conduct on Johnson & Johnson’s part.
Johnson & Johnson was not the only defendant in the case to reach a settlement. The 61-year old plaintiff also named London-based Rio Tinto Minerals as a defendant, which reportedly mined the talc that was used in the Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder the plaintiff allegedly developed mesothelioma from. As a result of settlements with all parties involved, the Oakland County jury was dismissed and will no longer need to deliver a verdict in the case.
While talc does not contain asbestos itself, the two are both naturally occurring minerals which can be found side by side one another. If talc mining companies and others down the supply chain do not take reasonable safety precautions to prevent cross contamination, innocent consumers may be unwillingly exposed to deadly asbestos fibers.
Investigations by Reuters analyzing thousands of internal company documents appear to show that Johnson & Johnson may have known for decades about positive tests for asbestos in its talc used for products like Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. Asbestos was once used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications but has faced heavy restrictions on its use since the federal government passed strict legislation due to the risk associated with developing mesothelioma.
Exposure to asbestos has been directly linked to developing mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer, which commonly affects thin linings of tissue surrounding vital organs such as the lungs, heart, and abdomen, but has also been known to manifest itself in other regions of the body. Unfortunately, even as researchers around the globe continue to work tirelessly to find a cure, there is still no definitive treatment to fight the disease once patients receive a diagnosis.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced 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, lost wages, and pain and suffering.