Imagine millions of people who use one of the world’s most trusted products finding out that it has caused both malignant mesothelioma and ovarian cancer. That is exactly what is happening, as Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder is being named in multiple lawsuits around the country. The most recent of these cases was heard in a New Jersey courtroom, where a jury hearing the plight of 46-year-old Stephen Lanzo first awarded him and his wife $37 million in compensatory damages, and then another $80 million in punitive damages meant specifically to punish the consumer giant for their negligence.
When a jury hears a mesothelioma lawsuit that accuses a company of negligently and knowingly exposing a victim to asbestos, they are asked to make multiple decisions. They must decide whether and how much to make the company pay the victim for the damages they’ve suffered: medical bills, lost wages, loss of consortium, pain and suffering. Then they are asked whether and how much the company should also have to pay specifically for their wrongdoing. These are called punitive damages, and they are meant to send a message about being careless with people’s lives and health. In the case of the Lanzo family, the jury’s $80 million punitive damages decision was linked directly to secret internal documents submitted in court that revealed that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the presence of asbestos in their product decades ago, yet did nothing to alert or protect the public.
Asbestos causes pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma as well as many other serious and fatal conditions. In addition to asbestosis and asbestos-related lung cancer, it has been linked to ovarian cancer, and there are currently over 6,000 pending lawsuits filed by women who say that their disease was caused by asbestos in the talc-based product.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease and you need information about your legal rights, contact us today to set up a free consultation. We can be reached at 1-800-966-2244.