After hearing weeks of testimony, a New Jersey jury has sided with four people who blame Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and other talc-based powders for their malignant mesothelioma. The jury ordered the consumer giant to pay the victims — Douglas Barden, 65, David Etheridge, 57, D’Angela McNeill-George, 41, and Will Ronning, 46 — at least $37.2 million in compensatory damages, with punitive damages to be considered in the future.
Johnson & Johnson’s asbestos court losses continue
This is the second time that a jury in Johnson & Johnson’s hometown of New Brunswick, New Jersey has decided against them in a case accusing them of causing malignant mesothelioma: in the first case the jury awarded a single victim and his wife a total of $117 million. The company is currently facing over 15,000 lawsuits accusing them of causing long-term exposure to asbestos to unknowing consumers.
The 15,000 cases against the company have largely been filed by people diagnosed with either mesothelioma or ovarian cancer who blame their illness on long-time use of Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based powder products. They say that the company knew that its talc was contaminated with asbestos and chose to hide that information instead of acting to warn and protect consumers.
Asbestos in talc at the root of claims against Johnson & Johnson
Asbestos is a mineral that has a long history of industrial use and which has been directly linked to malignant mesothelioma, a rare and fatal form of cancer. The material also causes a host of other serious illnesses, including lung cancer and asbestosis, and has been linked to ovarian and other cancers. Deposits of asbestos are frequently found in close proximity to talc deposits, and there can be cross-contamination if care is not used.
Despite the company’s insistence that its products were not contaminated with asbestos, the evidence against them has been powerful enough to sway several juries, who have seen documents that indicate the company hid the risks of its products for decades.
If you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and have no knowledge of a previous asbestos exposure, there is a chance that your illness may have been caused by use of a talc-based product. For more information on how to find the source of your disease, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608.