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talc and mesothelioma

Kazan Firm Wins $29.5 Million Mesothelioma Verdict Against Johnson & Johnson

Paralleling a similar verdict won in April of 2018, a California jury recently awarded clients of Kazan Law  damages totaling $29.5 million. The landmark verdict represents compensatory damages that Kazan clients Teresa Leavitt and her husband, Dean McElroy, suffered as a result of the mesothelioma Mrs. Leavitt contracted from exposure to the asbestos in Johnson’s Baby Powder – arguably the baby powder gold-standard for many decades. The couple is represented by a legal team made up of attorneys from both Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood, PC, and Levy Konigsberg, LLP.

 

The Defendants, Responsibility, and Damages

Those defendants ordered to pay the $29.5 million verdict include three entities:

  • Johnson & Johnson (J&J)
  • Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc.
  • Cyprus Mines Corporation (Cyprus) – a talc supplier

The jury determined after extensive deliberation, that J&J bore 98 percent of the responsibility for Mrs. Leavitt’s injuries and that Cyprus bore the remaining 2 percent of responsibility. The verdict includes $22 million for Mrs. Leavitt’s past and future pain and suffering caused by the mesothelioma, $5 million for her husband’s spousal damages, which are also known as loss of consortium and loss of services and society, and $2.5 million for economic damages, including medical expenses and lost earnings.

 

Jury’s Findings

The jury’s findings on several important elements ultimately led to the final verdict in favor of the couple: 

  • Mrs. Leavitt’s use of Johnson’s Baby Powder was a substantial cause of her mesothelioma.
  • J&J and Cyprus failed to provide adequate warning regarding the dangers of asbestos, such as that found in their talc.
  • J&J intentionally withheld information regarding the risks associated with the talc found in their famous baby powder.

 

Supporting Evidence

Evidence in support of this verdict included multiple internal documents issued by both J&J and Cyprus that prove both defendants knew – as early as the 1960s – that the talc used to manufacture Johnson’s baby powder and Johnson and Johnson’s Shower to Shower products contained asbestos. In response to their initial discovery of this dangerous fact, J&J – and some other manufacturers of talcum powder – opted out of replacing the tainted talc with an alternative substance like cornstarch and, instead, implemented a testing mechanism that couldn’t detect the asbestos and, thus, attempted to absolve themselves of potential fault. The jury saw through this attempt.

The evidence presented mirrored evidence from the April 2018 case. It was, however, the first J&J talc-related trial to be completed following reporting from the New York Times and Reuters that established J&J’s long-term awareness of the asbestos issue and its decision to keep the information from both the public and government regulators.

 

Representation

The plaintiffs, Teresa Leavitt and Dean McElroy, are represented by a legal team that includes Joseph Satterley and Denyse Clancy of Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood, PC, of Oakland, California, and Moshe Maimon of Levy Konigsberg, LLP, based in New York and New Jersey.

 

Call Kazan Law Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Talcum Powder Lawyer

To schedule a free case evaluation with an attorney, call Kazan Law today at 877-995-6372 or contact us online.

More Bad News for J&J as It Gets Hit with Federal Subpoenas from SEC and DOJ

The bad news just keeps coming for Johnson & Johnson. As we blogged about in January, in late 2018, Reuters issued a report that alleged that internal documents uncovered in the course of litigation indicate that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the fact that its talc contained asbestos for several decades. In late February, the company announced that it received subpoenas from both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) in relation to litigation involving alleged asbestos in its talc-based Baby Powder product line.

According to J&J, this is the first time that the company has disclosed that is has received subpoenas from federal agencies and that it intends to fully cooperate with them. In addition, the company stated that the federal inquiries “are related to news reports that included inaccurate statements and also withheld crucial information.”

 

You May Be Entitled to Significant Compensation

If you have used Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder or other talc-containing products and developed mesothelioma, it’s possible that you are legally entitled to significant compensation. In 2018, our law firm secured a $117 jury verdict on behalf of a lifelong baby powder user who developed mesothelioma. According to lead trial attorney Joe Satterley, “Johnson & Johnson and its supplier Imerys knew since the 1960’s that the talc used in Johnson’s Baby Powder contained asbestos, and that this might cause the companies to face litigation risks forty years in the future. Now, just as Johnson & Johnson’s confidential documents predicted, my client, a lifelong baby powder user, developed mesothelioma.”

 

Call Kazan Law Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with an Attorney

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma after exposure to talc or otherwise, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. The mesothelioma attorneys of Kazan Law have been helping mesothelioma victims and their families since 1974 and will review the facts of your case at no cost to you. To schedule your free case evaluation with a lawyer, call our office today at 877-995-6372, fill out the contact form on this page, or utilize our live chat widget.

Reuters: J&J Continued to Sell Talc Products for Years Despite Being Aware of the Risks

Talc baby powder asbestos mesotheliomaAn explosive report filed by Reuters late last year alleges that internal documents show that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the fact that its baby powder contained cancer-causing asbestos for decades. According to the news agency, an examination of records that were made available in the course of litigation indicates that the J&J’s raw talc powder sometimes tested positive for asbestos. In addition, these documents suggest that the company’s executives, lawyers, doctors, and mine managers all worried about the issue but failed to disclose it to regulators or the general public.

Reuters explained that the evidence of what the company knew and when it knew it finally came to light after people who suspected that their cancer was related to talc use hired attorneys who had experience representing workers that had been exposed to asbestos.  Reuters reported that those attorneys knew from their earlier work that talc producers often tested for asbestos and demanded to see J&J’s records.
 

No Safe Levels of Exposure

According to the World Health Organization, there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. While it is certainly true that not everyone who is exposed to asbestos develops cancer, even a limited amount of exposure over time is sufficient to trigger the disease. Furthermore, there is a long latency period between exposure and adverse effects. In the case of mesothelioma, the latency period can be as long as 50 years. This means that even if current Johnson & Johnson talc products are not contaminated with asbestos, people can still get cancer from contaminated batches from decades ago. As a result, if you have developed mesothelioma or any other form of cancer that could be linked to asbestos and used products containing talc at any point in your life, you should discuss your case with an attorney as soon as you can.
 

Plaintiffs Have Recovered Significant Compensation

In recent years, plaintiffs have successfully sued Johnson & Johnson and Imerys, linking the use of its products to both mesothelioma and ovarian cancer. Just last year, the lawyers at Kazan Law won a $117 million verdict on behalf of 45-year old mesothelioma victim Steven Lanzo. According to lead trial attorney and Kazan Law partner Joe Satterley, “Johnson & Johnson and its supplier Imerys knew since the 1960’s that the talc used in Johnson’s Baby Powder contained asbestos, and that this might cause the companies to face litigation risks forty years in the future. Now, just as Johnson & Johnson’s confidential documents predicted, my client, a lifelong baby powder user, developed mesothelioma.”
 

Call Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma after using talc-based products, you should speak to an attorney as soon as you can. Since 1974, the lawyers of Kazan Law have been helping mesothelioma victims obtain the compensation they deserve and have the skill and experience required to bring your case to the best resolution possible. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our attorneys, call us today at 877-995-6372 or contact us by filling out the form on this page or by using the live chat widget.

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