A New Jersey judge recently upheld a substantial $117 million verdict in favor of two-plaintiffs in an asbestos talcum powder lawsuit against cosmetics and pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier Imerys Talc. The award, originally handed down in April 2018, included $30 million in compensatory damages, $7 million for loss of consortium, and $80 million for a husband and wife.
The Middlesex County Superior Court judge in New Brunswick, New Jersey refused to grant Johnson & Johnson’s petition to set aside the verdict, potentially setting up another appeal to a higher state court. The jury’s award found Johnson & Johnson 70% liable for the plaintiffs’ damages and determined Imerys to be responsible for the remaining 30%. That verdict was the second such in two months for the two defendants, with a subsequent verdict in May 2018 awarding a 68-year-old plaintiff over $25 million in damages.
The asbestos talcum powder lawsuit alleged that the husband in the case developed mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer, from years of using talc-based products sold by Johnson & Johnson with materials sourced by Imerys Talc. The plaintiff claimed that he used the product from 1973 until roughly 2003 without knowing it contained deadly asbestos fibers, information he claimed Johnson & Johnson knew but kept from the public.
Although talc does not contain asbestos itself, the two naturally occurring minerals are often found in deposits adjacent to one another, making the risk of contamination great if special precautions are not taken to separate the two materials. The Middlesex County jury awarded the victims $80 million in punitive damages after determining that Johnson & Johnson and Imerys acted with malice and extreme negligence when they sold products they knew to contain asbestos.
Developing mesothelioma is directly linked to asbestos exposure. The disease commonly affects thin linings of tissue surrounding vital organs like the the lungs, heart, and abdomen. The disease often takes anywhere from 20 to 50 years to show symptoms, leaving patients with fewer medical options by the time their doctors are able to make a diagnosis.
While nothing can undo a mesothelioma diagnosis, filing an asbestos cancer lawsuit against the companies responsible can recover vital compensation for medical treatment and lost wages. In cases in which victims have passed away from mesothelioma, surviving family members may also have the right to file lawsuits on behalf of their deceased relatives. Plaintiffs may also have options to file claims with special asbestos bankruptcy trusts to recover compensation for their injuries and avoid lengthier legal proceedings in state and federal courts.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyer
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.
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