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mesothelioma talc

Kazan Law Wins $12 Million in Compensatory Damages Against J&J and Colgate in Talc Trial

Earlier this year, Denyse Clancy and Joseph D. Satterley, partners at Kazan Law, secured $12 million in compensatory damages on behalf of Patricia Schmitz in a jury trial against Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive. Schmitz has mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer that only occurs after a person has been exposed to asbestos, and the California jury agreed that her disease was a result of using various products containing talc.

Recent revelations have brought to light the fact that various products containing talc also contained harmful asbestos, and that the companies manufacturing these products were aware of the danger but continued to market their products in spite of the risk to consumers. Some of the talc-containing products Ms. Schmitz used included Johnson & Johnson baby powder, Colgate’s Cashmere Bouquet, and Avon’s Night Magic.

This is the third consecutive victory for Kazan Law in litigation regarding talc products causing cancer. In 2018, Ms. Clancy and Mr. Satterley obtained a $117 million verdict against J&J in New Jersey, and they secured a $29.5 million verdict against the company in Alameda County, California.

 

Protecting Your Rights after a Talc-Related Injury

If a doctor has diagnosed you with mesothelioma and you have used products that contained talc in the past, there are certain steps you should take to protect your rights. Be sure to make a list of any products in the past that have contained talc and the approximate dates of use. Some products that have tested positive for asbestos include:

  • Blush
  • Eye shadow
  • Baby powder
  • Crayons

Next, call an attorney as soon as you can, and be sure not to accept any money from the manufacturer until you have had a chance to retain a lawyer to represent you.

 

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Talc Litigation Attorney

Johnson & Johnson, Colgate-Palmolive, and other companies that put dangerous products on the market need to be held accountable for the harm they have caused consumers. If you have developed mesothelioma that you believe may be linked to the use of products containing talc, you should contact an experienced attorney immediately.

Since 1974, the lawyers of Kazan Law have been helping people hurt by asbestos exposure obtain compensation for their disease-related losses. To schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced talcum powder attorney, call our office today at 877-995-6372 or contact us online.

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.

Two U.S. Mineral Companies Assessed $22 Million in Wrongful Death Case Involving Undisclosed Asbestos in Talc Powder

OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood announced today what they believe to be the first asbestos-containing industrial talc verdict in California against San-Jose-based Imerys Talc America, Inc. and Vanderbilt Minerals, LLC headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut.

The jury returned the verdict on final punitive damages on December 11, 2017. Following a six week trial, on November 27, 2017, a jury in Oakland, CA found in Booker v. Imerys Talc America, Inc. and Vanderbilt Minerals, LLC, Case No. RG15796166, Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, that Vanderbilt and Imerys were negligent and strictly liable for the wrongful death of Richard Booker. In a bench trial, the trial court had previously held that Imerys was liable for the asbestos-containing talc sales of a predecessor entity, Cyprus Mines.

Additionally, the jury found that both Vanderbilt and Imerys had acted with malice, oppression and fraud. The jury awarded $17.5 million in compensatory damages to the Booker family, 60% allocated to Vanderbilt, and 40% allocated to Imerys. Vanderbilt settled with the Plaintiffs after the first phase of trial, and before the jury could assess punitive damages as to Vanderbilt. The jury awarded $4.6 million in punitive damages against Imerys.

Mr. Booker, who died at the age of 72 from a mesothelioma cancer, worked for decades as a paint tinter and mixer making paints.

“Vanderbilt and Imerys marketed their talc for over fifty years to the paint, ceramics, and cosmetic industries, but never disclosed that it contained asbestos,” said lead attorney Joe Satterley. “We were able to uncover their internal, confidential documents showing that they knew their talc contained asbestos, and yet sold it without any warnings. In fact, they did the opposite—they falsely assured their customers that their talc did not contain asbestos.”

At trial, Mr. Satterley showed the jury that medical doctors had found the same ingredients comprising Vanderbilt and Imerys’ asbestos-containing talc in Mr. Booker’s lung tissue. Also, the jury was shown testimony from Imerys executives proving that Imerys had re-blended its talc to try to hide the asbestos content.

This is the first time that Imerys has been found liable for punitive damages for its sale of asbestos-containing talc. Vanderbilt has previously been found liable in Kentucky, New York, and New Jersey for its marketing of asbestos-containing talc. Mr. Booker’s widow testified at trial that she and Mr. Booker chose to bring this lawsuit to prevent companies from harming workers such as her husband in the future.

Nationally Recognized Pioneers in Asbestos Litigation: Since its founding in 1974, Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood has represented thousands of people suffering from asbestos related illnesses, particularly mesothelioma. Our principals are among the most experienced mesothelioma lawyers in the country.

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