The Mesothelioma trial running for over two months has finally ended with a jury ordering J&J and its talc supplier to cough up $37 million as compensatory damages. The case was filed by Stephen Lanzo III and his wife seeking compensation for his diagnosis of Mesothelioma (a cancer of the lung) allegedly caused by the inhalation of asbestos present in the company’s Talcum Powder used over decades. The jury was allotted time by Superior Court Judge Ana C. Viscomi to return for punitive damages in this matter.
Though the defense counsel argued that there was no asbestos in talc evident by the reports of consistent testing using the most reliable and the best technology and methodologies available. However, the jurors concluded that the plaintiff was exposed to asbestos from using J&J's baby powder and/or Shower to Shower powder between 1972 and 2003 and that such exposure was a substantial factor in causing his illness.
J&J and Imerys maintained during the trial that the talcum powder products did not contain asbestos. The case was heard in the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey, County of Middlesex.