Levy Konigsberg, Co-Counsel Secure $37 Million Victory in Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Asbestos Case

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A jury in Middlesex County, NJ awarded $37.3 million to four plaintiffs who suffer from mesothelioma caused by asbestos in Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products.

On September 11, 2019, after a nearly three-month consolidated trial of four plaintiffs living with peritoneal mesothelioma, a jury in Middlesex County found Johnson & Johnson liable for causing the Plaintiffs’ cancers. This was the first consolidated trial of plaintiffs alleging their mesotheliomas were caused by asbestos-containing J&J talc products.

A unanimous jury found that J&J’s talcum powder products contained asbestos; J&J failed to warn its customers about the asbestos; and a safer, asbestos-free option (cornstarch) was readily available. J&J even deviated from its own design specifications and standards. The jury awarded a total of $37.3 million in compensatory damages to the Plaintiffs. Punitive damages will be considered in a separate trial.

Throughout the trial, the jury was presented with hundreds of documents proving that J&J’s talcum powder products contained asbestos, including internal J&J tests results, which showed that its talc tested positive for asbestos as far back as the 1950s. J&J’s own documents also showed that it could have replaced its talc with cornstarch, a safer (and asbestos-free) alternative to talc, but failed to do so out of fear that it would hurt its image and spark litigation.

The jury also heard testimony from many experts for the Plaintiffs at trial. Material Scientist Dr. William E. Longo, testified that his laboratory found asbestos fibers in the vast majority of J&J containers it tested. Dr. Jacqueline Moline, a specialist in occupational and environmental medicine, testified that Plaintiffs’ exposures to asbestos from J&J’s products caused their peritoneal mesotheliomas.

Moshe Maimon of Levy Konigsberg, Chris Panatier of Simon Greenstone, and Chris Placitella of Cohen Placitella were trial counsel for the Plaintiffs.

This verdict is the latest win Levy Konigsberg has secured against J&J for mesothelioma caused by asbestos in its talcum powder. Previous victories against J&J were tried on behalf of: Stephen Lanzo in New Jersey ($117 million), Teresa Leavitt in California ($29 million), and Donna Olson in New York ($325 million).

Levy Konigsberg LLP is a nationally-recognized mesothelioma law firm that maintains offices in New York City and New Jersey. They have been representing the rights of injured victims for more than 30 years and have recovered more than $1 billion on behalf of their clients. In addition to their mesothelioma practice, the lawyers of Levy Konigsberg LLP also work with clients in the areas of lead poisoning, whistleblower law, pharmaceutical litigation and other complex cases on behalf of plaintiffs. Those suffering from serious injuries resulting from corporate or government misconduct can schedule a free consultation with an attorney from the firm by calling their offices at 212-605-6200 or by visiting https://www.levylaw.com.

(1)    Douglas Barden and Roslyn Barden, Docket No. MID-L-1809-17 (State of New Jersey, Superior Court).
(2)    David Charles Etheridge and Darlene Pastore Etheridge, Docket No. MID-L-0932-17 (State of New Jersey, Superior Court).
(3)    D’angela M. McNeill-George, Docket No. MID-L-7049-16 (State of New Jersey, Superior Court).
(4)    William Ronning and Elizabeth Ronning, Docket No. MID-L-6040-17 (State of New Jersey, Superior Court).

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Jerome Block
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