Johnson & Johnson Awards Couple $37 Million

J&J to Award New Jersey Couple $37 Million in Cancer and Mesothelioma Damages

Product liability claims can sometimes arise from seemingly benign and unique circumstances. Such was the case for the Lanzo family, given the married couple were given significant compensatory damage awards of $30 million for Mr. Lanzo and $7 million for his wife. The settlement was awarded after following product liability litigation against the Johnson and Johnson Corporation.

Johnson & Johnson has filed an appeal in the case, contesting that the science is still on the side of the company, even though the jury ruled in favor of the Lanzo family. The fact that product liability cases are adjudicated according to strict liability meant the plaintiff legal counsel was not required to prove negligence on the part of J & J. This reasoning is because all manufacturers are responsible for their products once they reach the market. All proof that was necessary was an association between the injury and the use of the product by the plaintiff.



The Carcinogen
The lawsuit stems from Lanzo’s claim that he was a regular user of J & J Baby Powder for over 30 years and periodically inhaled the product during the application process, which in turn produced his cancer diagnosis. Lanzo’s attorney argued in the case that J & J Baby Powder largely consists of the mineral talc that tends to develop in the earth near asbestos deposits. Talcum is the primary ingredient in the talcum powder component of the baby powder product, as it is recognized as one of the softest and smallest of all minerals.



The Danger Caused
Originally, the case hinged on the argument that raw talc is a mined product that commonly gets contaminated with adjacent asbestos-like deposits in the extraction process. The incubation period for asbestos-related mesothelioma to manifest is 20-30 years, which fit the time frame in which Lanzo used the product. The problem is that the carcinogenic ingredient found in the product is essentially like glass particles and lodges in the lung lining, only taking a minimal amount of exposure to result in the eventual disease. Judged on the evidence preponderance standard, the use of the questioned mineral was clearly connected to general locations alongside the outlawed material deposits.



Spreading Litigation
This case appears to be a real problem for J & J in the long run as well, since many people who have used the product could well have been among those who died from lung disease. This long-time delay of misinformation could potentially open the flood gate for more lawsuits in addition to the many lawsuits that are already making their way through the court system now. The appeal will serve to stall the final outcome of all subsequent cases that will be ruled by this initial precedent. Not only will this impact cases in the home state of New Jersey, but also potentially include anyone across the nation who has developed asbestos-related health issues.



The Future of Talc Products
These cases may surely be difficult to prove even with the outcome of this jury’s trial. Since the science on talc contamination is more refined, an increase in focus for other health and beauty companies has emerged. If J & J losses on the appeal, the results could be devastating. However, if the case is overturned, it could be a relief for all of the HBA manufacturers nationwide. This will clearly be an emerging trend in litigation for lawyers and claimants alike when they develop diseases that can be associated with the use of a wide variety of talc products.


Product Liability Support
In the event you, or someone you love, was harmed by using Johnson & Johnson’s talc products, contact our firm immediately. At our product liability law firm, we’re here to help guide you through every step of your legal matter. We’ll defend your interests to the fullest by professionally negotiating proper recovery options for you, from the liable party. For any questions or comments with your concerns, give us a call now.


Your free, first-time, no-obligation consultation with a reputable Los Angeles Product Liability Attorney regarding your unique situation is available by calling:

888-529-3111 Monday-Friday, 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.

Jack Ter-Saakyan, Esq.
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