A Missouri trial judge recently upheld a substantial $4.69 billion verdict in favor of 22 plaintiffs and their families in an asbestos talcum powder lawsuit against New Jersey-based pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson. Soon after the judge upheld the verdict, Johnson & Johnson continued to deny responsibility in the case and vowed to appeal the decision and have the award overturned.
In his orders, the Circuit Court judge for the City of St. Louis noted there was no reason to further delay certification of the award for appeal and so affirmed the jury’s decision. Johnson & Johnson had chosen not to file any post judgement motions asking the court to reduce or set aside the verdict entirely, thus allowing it to take its case to state appeals courts to try and challenge the jury’s will on technical grounds.
The plaintiffs in the case alleged that they or their relatives developed various types of cancer, including mesothelioma, from years of using Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder, Shower to Shower, and other talc-based products developed by the company. While Johnson & Johnson denied its products contained talcum powder or had been talc-free for several decades, the plaintiffs showed internal company documents to the contrary.
At the conclusion of the five-week trial, which Johnson & Johnson called “fundamentally unfair,” the jury awarded the plaintiffs $550 million in compensatory damages as compensation for lost wages, hospital bills, and pain and suffering. The bulk of the award came from the $4.14 billion in punitives handed down to punish Johnson & Johnson for its reckless disregard for the safety of consumers.
Even though talc does not contain asbestos itself, the two substances are naturally occurring minerals often found side by side one another. When companies fail to take necessary precautions to prevent asbestos contamination, the results can be catastrophic for victims and their families.
One of the most serious consequences of asbestos exposure is mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer commonly affecting the thin linings of tissue surrounding the heart, lungs, and abdomen. Although nothing can undo a mesothelioma cancer diagnosis, filing an asbestos cancer lawsuit can hold wrongdoers accountable for their indifference to public safety and recover vital compensation to make up for lost income and pay for necessary medical care.
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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.