Mesothelioma lawsuits have plagued big corporations for decades, since it was revealed that asbestos and the products it was used in were harmful to those who manufactured or were otherwise exposed to the fibers. Long-term exposure to asbestos fibers damages lung and chest tissues, causing cancerous tumors and mesothelioma.
However, certain companies have tended to avoid repercussions associated with putting workers and consumers at risk with asbestos-laced products, including Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturing giant.
Talcum Powder Case Overview
In a ruling released in early April 2018, Johnson & Johnson (J&J), as well as its talc supplier, Imerys SA, are required to pay $117 million in damages to a retired banker who developed mesothelioma after using J&J’s products for decades.
The products in question are talcum powder-based, which can become contaminated with asbestos fibers through the mining process.
Though the companies continue to deny allegations and have sought an appeal to the New Jersey court’s decision, the ruling helps show that not all corporations are invulnerable to individuals’ voices.
J&J have been told to pay $37 million to the couple who filed the claim and an additional $80 million in punitive damages. Punitive damages are reserved for defendants who knowingly committed harmful acts. J&J and its supplier will split the payment 70-30, respectively.
What This Decision Means
This decision is significant for those who suffer from mesothelioma or other cancers related to asbestos exposure, especially from talc products.
This is the first time a jury has sided against J&J in a mesothelioma lawsuit, which may open the door to other legal actions, possibly allowing other victims to seek compensation for their cancer treatment.
In addition to products manufactured by J&J, this decision also sets a precedent against other companies facing similar lawsuits. Another major talc distributor, Colgate-Palmolive, has already settled a mesothelioma lawsuit and now may face more scrutiny in future litigation.
If the decision stays, this victory helps reveal that companies across the country may not have customers’ best interests at heart. It reinforces the belief that victims can and should seek compensation for their medical bills when companies have acted negligently.
File a Talcum Powder Mesothelioma Lawsuit
If you believe your cancer or mesothelioma was caused by a talcum powder product, talk to your doctor and an experienced attorney as soon as possible. If they believe your condition may warrant a lawsuit, you will have a few avenues to choose from when arguing your case:
Though all of these may be valid ways of filing a product liability claim, most talcum powder cases fall under the first type: strict product liability.
This kind of case requires the plaintiff to prove that the defendant sold a product with an unreasonably dangerous property and didn’t provide adequate warning to the danger.
For example, in a talcum powder mesothelioma claim, the victim must first prove the product caused their mesothelioma, then prove the product contained asbestos (any amount is considered hazardous, according to the FDA), and finally prove that the manufacturer knew and did not intend to change the product before it arrived on shelves.
Help from an Indiana Mesothelioma Attorney
If you’re considering filing a talcum powder or mesothelioma lawsuit against a manufacturer, chances are you won’t get very far without the guidance of an experienced lawyer. Call or contact Hensley Legal Group for a free consultation to see if we can help you win your case.