Jury awards $37 million in damages against J&J, Imerys over talcum powder mesothelioma diagnosis

by Eric Pearson

A New Jersey man who was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer and his wife have been awarded $37 million in damage in their lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc. The lawsuit alleged that Stephen Lanzo was diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos in talcum powder products that were mined by Imerys and sold by Johnson & Johnson.

Johnson & Johnson is currently facing thousands of lawsuits over allegations that its talcum powder products can increase the risk of cancer. The majority of these lawsuits involve claims that talc products are linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer in women who used talcum baby powder for feminine hygiene. The company is also facing several lawsuits in addition to Lanzo’s alleging a link between talcum powder and mesothelioma.

Lanzo’s lawsuit alleged that he developed mesothelioma cancer after decades of exposure to Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder brands, including Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. The lawsuit alleged that Johnson & Johnson has known about the risk of asbestos in its talc products for decades, but failed to warn customers about this risk. The lawsuit also alleged that Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately test its talcum powder products in order to make sure that they were free of asbestos.

Both talc and asbestos are naturally-occurring minerals that are frequently found close together when they are mined. As a result of this, talc products may carry a risk of being contaminated with asbestos. Exposure to asbestos is linked with an increased risk of mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer that affects the lining of the heart, lungs, or abdomen. Even with treatment, most patients who are diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer live only a few years after the disease is detected.

During the trial, Johnson & Johnson stated that its talcum powder products have been asbestos-free since the 1970s, as required by law. However, studies of Johnson & Johnson’s asbestos testing methods have suggested that they are not able to guarantee that its talc brands are 100% free of asbestos, which could place consumers who use these products at an increased risk of mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases.

Following the trial, jurors awarded Lanzo $30 million in damages against Johnson & Johnson and Imerys, plus an additional $7 million in damages to his wife. The jury found that Johnson & Johnson was 70% responsible for Lanzo’s mesothelioma diagnosis, and that Imerys was 30% responsible. The jury will now begin deliberations to determine whether an award of punitive damages against the two companies is warranted.

Talcum Powder Lawsuits Filed by Heygood, Orr & Pearson

If you or a loved one used talcum powder products sold by Johnson & Johnson or other companies and have been diagnosed with uterine cancer or mesothelioma, you may qualify to file a lawsuit. Johnson & Johnson and other talcum powder manufacturers are currently facing thousands of lawsuits filed by customers who developed serious illnesses as a result of exposure to these products.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson are currently representing more than 150 women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder products for feminine hygiene. Our attorneys have also filed hundreds of claims on behalf of consumers who were injured by dangerous drugs, defective medical devices, and other consumer products.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson has taken on some of the largest corporations in the world on behalf of our clients. Our firm believes that when consumers are injured by negligence – whether by a multinational corporation or a single individual – they should be entitle to have their legal interests represented in a court of law.

For a free legal consultation to learn more about whether you may qualify to file a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson or other talcum powder manufacturers, contact Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few brief questions about your case to get started.

by Eric Pearson

Eric Pearson is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P who handles commercial and personal injury lawsuits. Eric has been selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication.