Consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson, and global talc producer Imerys Talc America, have been ordered to pay $117 million to a New Jersey man who developed cancer due to his exposure to Johnson’s Baby Powder. In early April, after more than two months of trial, both companies were hit with a $37 million verdict in compensatory damages in the case. The jury found New Brunswick-based J&J responsible for 70% of the damages and France-based Imerys Talc America responsible for the remaining 30%. The award consisted of $30 million for the victim and $7 million for his wife.
In the latest development in the case, the jury has ordered the companies to pay an additional $80 million in punitive damages to the victim and his wife, for a total of $117 million. “The verdict by jurors in New Brunswick, New Jersey, came in the second trial nationally to focus on claims that J&J’s talc products contained asbestos as the company separately fights thousands of cases claiming they can also cause ovarian cancer,” reports Reuters.
Of the $80 million award, J&J was ordered to pay $55 million and the Imerys unit was ordered to pay $25 million.
Now entering his late 40s, the plaintiff in the case said he was exposed to asbestos from the time he was born in 1972 to roughly 2003. The exposure came from inhaling dust from the baby powder from regular use. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2016.
“The decision marks the first trial loss for J&J over allegations that its talc-based consumer products, such as Johnson’s Baby Powder, contain asbestos,” reports Reuters. Attorneys for the plaintiffs said they are “gratified that justice was achieved,” and that their clients will be “fairly compensated.”
Have you been exposed to asbestos? If so, see your doctor right away. Although there is no cure for the disease, if caught early, the chances for successful treatment greatly increase. See your doctor today.
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Schatz, Dave. "Johnson & Johnson Hit with $37M Verdict in Asbestos-related Cancer Lawsuit." USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network, 06 Apr. 2018. Web. 09 Apr. 2018.