A New Jersey jury awarded several mesothelioma victims a $750 million punitive damages award, agreeing with their assertion that Johnson & Johnson’s had been reckless in allowing asbestos to contaminate their talc-based baby powder product. The victims have already won a $37.3 million compensatory damages verdict. The award is a powerful message of punishment to the consumer giant, whose product is among the most trusted in the world.
Punitive Damages Are Meant to Send a Message
The original lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson was filed by five mesothelioma victims, one of whom has died of the disease since the case began. Though the group has already won its original case, and was awarded compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other injuries, they pursued punitive damages based on their belief that the pharmaceutical company acted recklessly in allowing asbestos in their product.
Punitive damages are meant to send a message about conduct rather than specifically about the harm that has been done. In this case, the victims pointed to internal memos showing that the company was aware that their product contained asbestos. They said that the company specifically designated testing methods that they knew they would pass so that they could continue selling their product and making enormous profits. They accused the company of putting the “detection limit purposefully way up high so they can say nothing is detected, even if they saw it.”
Johnson & Johnson Accused of Hiding Asbestos
Johnson & Johnson has repeated defended itself against these and other charges filed by mesothelioma victims. They claim that there has never been asbestos contamination of the talc in their powder despite the FDA finding asbestos in a bottle purchased as recently as 2018. Juries across the country have already found the company liable in several cases filed by mesothelioma victims and ovarian cancer victims as well.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease and you believe that it was caused by exposure to a talc-based product, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can provide you with the information you need to move forward. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608