Following a New Jersey jury’s $117 million mesothelioma verdict against consumer giant Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier, a noted law professor is predicting that an onslaught of similar lawsuits is likely to be filed.
Fordham University law professor Howard Erichson, who specializes in mass tort litigation, is among the many legal experts predicting that the victory will attract the attention of more potential litigation.
“Baby powder is as ubiquitous a product as you can think of, and there are lots of people who can testify that they’ve been exposed to it,” he said.
Erichson’s comments come after the jury sided with Stephen Lanzo, a 46-year-old banker who filed a lawsuit blaming his mesothelioma on his lifelong use of Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and talc products, which he claims were contaminated by asbestos.
The grounds for Lanzo’s mesothelioma lawsuit, as well as thousands of pending lawsuits accusing the products of causing ovarian cancer, are decades-old internal Johnson & Johnson documents indicating the presence of asbestos in the talc the company was purchasing and using in its products.
Although the company defended itself by claiming that the documents point to the company’s caution, the jury did not agree and awarded Lanzo and his wife a total of $117 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
With 3,000 people diagnosed with mesothelioma each year and many more diagnosed with other asbestos-related diseases, Johnson & Johnson provides many victims with an answer to where their exposure may have came from that is hard to deny.
In addition to mesothelioma victims, it is estimated that roughly 22,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, and of the six completed lawsuits accusing Johnson & Johnson of negligence in causing ovarian cancer, five juries found the company liable.
The mesothelioma lawsuit that Mr. Lanzo won accused the company of choosing to suppress information about the presence of asbestos in its products out of fear that publicity would hurt its bottom line, which were reportedly $76.5 billion in 2017 alone. News of its negligence may provide the answer to asbestos victims’ questions of how they were exposed.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease, you need answers to this and many other questions. The Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.