A California jury awarded over $26.5 million in damages to Christina Prudencio on claims that the multi-billion dollar company, Johnson & Johnson, ignored warnings that its popular talc baby powder contained asbestos. The 35-year-old plaintiff is represented by Joseph Satterley and Ian Rivamonte of Kazan Law and suffers from terminal mesothelioma, which is a type of cancer that affects the thin tissue lining the lungs, abdomen, and chest wall.
Prudencio was awarded $20 million for past and future pain-and-suffering damages, $4.1 million in past and future lost earnings, over $1.57 million in past and future household services, and $800,000 in past and future medical expenses. The jury also found that Johnson & Johnson acted with malice or oppression, and awarded $100,000 in punitive damages.
Prudencio had used Johnson’s Baby Powder from birth up until she was 16 years old. She also continued to be indirectly exposed to the baby powder because it was used on her two younger siblings. According to her attorneys, Prudencio was pursuing a master’s degree while also working as a preschool teacher when she was diagnosed with mesothelioma and was forced to stop working.
In 2020, she underwent two invasive surgeries to remove malignant cancer. Prudencio’s attorneys also said that Johnson & Johnson knew that its talc contained cancer-causing asbestos before, during, and after Prudencio and her family were using Johnson’s Baby Powder. The company also failed to disclose this fact to the FDA and users of its baby powder. Johnson & Johnson only stopped selling the product in 2020 in the United States and Canadian markets because of the lawsuits. The jury rejected Johnson & Johnson’s defense that Prudencio’s cancer most likely resulted from a genetic mutation.
More Trouble for Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson is facing various claims that its talc baby powder caused cancer. In June 2021, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear Johnson & Johnson’s appeal from a judgment worth $2.1 billion that the Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed. The appellate court stated that the company’s conduct was reprehensible because they denied for decades the link between ovarian cancer and talc powder use.
The lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson alleged that the plaintiffs used the company’s talc baby powder and later discovered that they developed ovarian cancer. Likewise, they accused Johnson & Johnson of intentionally marketing and selling a product that raises an individual’s risk of developing ovarian cancer.
In response to the mounting jury verdicts and overwhelming ongoing litigation, the company has employed a legal maneuver called the “Texas two-step,” which permits companies to split in two, with one part of the company remaining viable and keeping valuable assets while the other seeks bankruptcy protection because it is saddled with the asbestos liabilities. But this scheme would delay and frustrate the rights of cancer victims to get their lawsuits resolved before a jury and a judge. As a result, cancer plaintiffs have asked the bankruptcy court to dismiss Johnson & Johnson’s “bad faith” bankruptcy case and allow them to pursue their lawsuits. A decision is expected by the end of February 2022.
Reach Out to an Experienced California Mesothelioma Lawyer Today
If you or a family member is suffering from mesothelioma, get in touch with our experienced California mesothelioma lawyers here at Kazan Law. You can schedule a free review of your case by calling 888-887-1238 or filling out our online form so you can learn more about your case and the most appropriate legal options for you. Our California mesothelioma lawyers have decades of experience handling mesothelioma cases and have secured billions of dollars in settlements or jury verdicts for our clients since 1974.