After decades of mesothelioma victims filing lawsuits against asbestos companies, it is well known that asbestos is responsible for the rare and fatal form of cancer. But new claims filed over the last few years have introduced a sobering new element to the legal landscape, as consumers are coming forward and saying that asbestos in household items has not only caused their mesothelioma, but also ovarian cancer. The most recent of these cases involved 22 women who sued Johnson & Johnson, claim that the company’s iconic baby powder contained asbestos that sickened them. Last week a Missouri jury agreed, and ordered the company to pay the victims a remarkable $4.69 billion in damages.
Multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements are not unusual in mesothelioma cases, but verdicts in the billions are remarkable, particularly when they involve just 22 victims. It represents the largest verdict delivered to Johnson & Johnson to date involving asbestos: the company’s talc-based products have been named in mesothelioma cases as well, including in a recent case in New Jersey where a man who had used the company’s baby powder for years won $37 million. More baby powder cases are waiting to be heard, including hundreds accusing the company of causing mesothelioma and more than 9,000 accusing them of causing ovarian cancer. The Missouri decision was broken down into $550 million to compensate victims for their actual costs, and over $4 billion in punitive damages.
The issue in both the mesothelioma and ovarian cancer cancer cases against Johnson & Johnson revolves around the talc that is used in the company’s baby powder and other powder products. There have been suspicions for years that Johnson & Johnson was aware that their product contained asbestos. The women in the Missouri case accused the company of both failing to provide consumers with warnings, and of hiding the evidence that their product contained the carcinogenic material.
Though most people associate asbestos with occupational exposure, there is increasing evidence that mesothelioma and other diseases may have been caused by asbestos in consumer products. If you have been diagnosed with this rare and fatal form of cancer and need information about where it may have come from, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.