A New York City jury recently returned a substantial award in an asbestos talcum powder lawsuit brought by a woman who claims her rare and deadly form of cancer was caused by exposure to asbestos fibers in the talc-based products she used for decades. The lawsuit named pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson as the defendant and alleged that the company knew for decades about the presence of carcinogens in its talcum powder products but provided no warning.
According to the mesothelioma cancer lawsuit, filed in New York City Supreme Court, the now 66-year-old plaintiff developed cancer from using talc-based products produced by Johnson & Johnson. Jurors hearing the case had already found in favor of the plaintiff, awarding the victim and her husband $25 million in compensatory damages for the couple’s economic damages as well as their pain and suffering from the wife’s mesothelioma cancer diagnosis.
This latest award included $300 million in punitive damages, a special type of compensation juries may sometimes be allowed to hand down in situations in which plaintiffs can demonstrate that the defendants were egregiously negligent in their conduct. Punitive damages are meant as a means to send a message and deter other similarly negligent conduct and protect the public.
Johnson & Johnson faces an estimated 14,000 other talcum powder cancer lawsuits around the country brought by victims who claim that they developed serious forms of cancer from exposure to asbestos fibers in the products. Juries across the country have thus far awarded over $5 billion in compensatory and punitive damages to victims and family members for the harm caused by Johnson & Johnson knowingly marketing a product that contained cancer-causing asbestos fibers.
Both asbestos and talc are naturally occurring minerals which can often be found by side by side one another. If miners do not take precautions when procuring talc, asbestos contamination could occur and put innocent people at risk. For decades, asbestos was used in a variety of commercial, industrial, and military applications until the federal government finally took action to effectively ban its use. Despite the legislation, thousands of people every year are diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases.
Asbestos exposure is directly linked to developing several serious health conditions, the worst of which being mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer that commonly affects the thin lining of tissue surrounding vital organs like the lungs, heart, and abdomen. Because of the long latency period associated with mesothelioma, typically between 20 and 50 years, patients are often left with diminished treatment options when a diagnosis made.
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. We can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment so that you and your family live a more comfortable life.