Donna Olson’s diagnosis with malignant mesothelioma came in 2016, just one year after the former Brooklyn resident had given up her lifelong practice of using Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder on a daily basis. She stopped because of news reports that the product had been linked to cancer as a result of possible asbestos contamination. Unfortunately, it was too late. By 2017 she and her husband had filed a lawsuit against the consumer product giant, and by the time the case got to trial she was too ill to attend. Last month the jury gave her and her husband a combined $25 million to compensate them for her pain and suffering, and this week the same jury came back with a remarkable $300 million in punitive damages against the company. It was a resounding decision, and one of the largest that the company has faced from a jury so far.
Though Johnson & Johnson’s has continued to fight the mesothelioma lawsuits against it, as well as those filed by women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the juries in the cases against them have largely believed the victims. A Reuters report published months ago indicated that the company had worked for years to cover up and manipulate information regarding asbestos in their products, and much of the internal documentation highlighted in that article has been presented as evidence in this and other trials.
The news that Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and its other talc-based products might be the cause of malignant mesothelioma and ovarian cancer have shocked the public, as the iconic hygiene items have been part of America’s daily life. Speaking of his wife’s practice of using the company’s products, Robert Olson had testified, “She always — it was her ritual. After shower, she would use the baby powder. The times I saw it, she would pour it on her hand, apply it to her chest and pour it on her hand and do her underarms.” It is a familiar scene to countless people, including the 14,200 plaintiffs whose lawsuits against the company are currently pending.
If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or malignant mesothelioma after having used Johnson & Johnson’s products or through any other exposure to asbestos, we can help you understand your rights and options. Contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.