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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.

Kazan Firm Wins $117 Million Johnson & Johnson’s Talc Baby Powder Verdict

Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Mesothelioma Trial Team

Pictured: The trial team included Joseph Satterley (left) and Denyse Clancy (right) from Kazan Law and Moshe Maimon (middle) from Levy Konigsberg LLP.

Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood, PC of Oakland, CA announces a $117 million verdict for their clients Stephen and Kendra Lanzo, formerly of Lafayette, CA. A jury this week found that Johnson’s Baby Powder contained asbestos, and that Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. and its supplier Imerys Talc America, Inc. failed to adequately warn consumers of this fact, and further that Johnson & Johnson had a safer alternative design in cornstarch.

The jury awarded the Lanzo’s $37 million dollars as compensation for Stephen Lanzo’s asbestos cancer, mesothelioma, with 70% to Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. and 30% to Imerys Talc America, Inc. The jury also awarded $80 million in punitive damages.

Trial counsel Joe Satterley explained that this historic victory was based on newly revealed confidential documents: “For the first time the jury was allowed to see secret, internal company documents showing that these companies knew that Johnson’s talc Baby Powder contains asbestos. As a result, the jury unanimously found that Johnson’s Baby Powder contained asbestos. Johnson & Johnson should stop selling Johnson’s talc Baby Powder and replace it with cornstarch.”

The confidential company documents also revealed that Johnson & Johnson in 1969 created “Project 101.” Project 101 showed that Johnson’s talc Baby Powder contained asbestos, and that it could cause cancer. Project 101 warned that in “forty years” the company could face litigation. In 1975, Johnson & Johnson’s talc mining subsidiary noted the presence of asbestos in the Vermont talc used in Johnson’s Baby Powder, and warned that it was a “severe health hazard.”

Imerys Talc America, headquartered San Jose, California, is the exclusive talc supplier to Johnson’s Baby Powder in North America. Imerys had also found asbestos in the Vermont talc mines in 1975, yet proceeded to purchase these mines and sell this talc for use in Johnson’s Baby Powder. An internal email revealed that Imerys failed to test the talc supplied for Johnson’s Baby Powder for four years, despite certifying to its customers that it had done so. Imerys’ confidential documents also showed that Imerys fought off regulation of its talc sales by creating “confusion” with the regulatory agencies, and by turning its regulatory efforts into a “game” as set forth on a “License to Market” monopoly board. On this board, a skull and cross bones and “DANGER” were placed next to squares marked “Public perception” and “Litigation.”

The case name is Stephen and Kendra Lanzo v. Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. and Imerys Talc America, Inc. The Lanzo’s were represented at trial by Joseph Satterley and Denyse Clancy of Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood, P.C of Oakland, California and by Moshe Maimon of New York and New Jersey- based Levy Konigsberg, L.L.P.

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