New Jersey Jury Awards Thirty Million Dollars in Talcum Powder Case
CNN –April 6, 2018 (cnn.com). According to an online news report, a Middlesex County, New Jersey jury awarded $30 million in monetary damages to a man diagnosed with cancer after many years of talcum powder use. The man’s wife also received compensatory damages.*
A banker, Stephen Lanzo, indicated that he used Johnson & Johnson products such as Shower to Shower as well as baby power for more than three decades, claiming he contracted mesothelioma after inhaling the power. Mesothelioma is a very serious form of cancer that attacks the tissue of the internal organs of the body, but mainly the lining of the lungs and wall of the chest.
Talcum powder is made from talc, which is often found near mineral deposits that are comprised of asbestos. Studies indicate that the risk of contamination from asbestos minerals arises as a result of the mining process. The manufacturer of the talcum powder, Johnson & Johnson, alleges that their products do not, under any circumstances, contain asbestos, which have been banned since the 1970s.
Similar cases are being filed with courts across the country, one set of which is set to start in South Carolina. A jury back in the fall actually found in favor of Johnson & Johnson in an asbestos personal injury case.
Lanzo’s lawsuit was the first to be held in New Jersey, the site where manufacturer Johnson & Johnson is located.
According to the news report, “the jury awarded $7 million to Kendra, Stephen Lanzo's wife, and $30 million to him, with Johnson & Johnson getting 70% of the liability and Imerys Talc, a supplier of the mineral, liable for 30%.”
"While we are disappointed with this decision, the jury has further deliberations to conduct in this trial and we will reserve additional comment until the case is fully completed," said Carol Goodrich, a spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson.
The Jersey jury is expected on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, to start the second phase of the trial in order to determine punitive damages.
The jury will begin a second part phase of the trial to consider punitive damages on Tuesday.
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