A man from New Jersey has been awarded $117 million in a lawsuit claiming that his 20-year use of Johnson & Johnson talcum powder has given him lung disease.
Stephen Lanzo, 46, filed the suit against the company and supplier Imerys Talc after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is commonly linked to exposure to asbestos.
He claimed that the company was aware that their product contains carcinogenic asbestos and failed to warn the public about the risk.
A jury awarded Mr Lanzo $30 million last week, as well as $7 million for his wife in spouse compensation for harm caused by negligent injury.
He was then awarded an additional $80 million in punitive damages.
According to 7 News, Mr Lanzo is the first man to bring an action linking the use of talc products to cancer, but thousands of other lawsuits have been lodged by women claiming a link between the product and ovarian cancer.
A spokesperson from Johnson & Johnson Pacific told Hit that the company has denied these claims, saying that they will be appealing the decision.
Johnson’s Baby Powder has been used for more than 120 years and it does not contain asbestos or cause mesothelioma. After suffering multiple losses through court rulings and at trial, plaintiff’s attorneys have shifted their strategy and are now alleging that talcum powder is contaminated with asbestos, despite multiple independent, non-litigation-driven scientific evaluations, which have found that our baby powder does not contain asbestos. Throughout this trial, we were prevented from presenting evidence we believe would have been important to the jury in their deliberations, which forced us to file multiple mistrial motions. We will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder and immediately begin our appeal, and we believe that once the full evidence is reviewed, this decision will be reversed.
- Spokesperson from Johnson & Johnson Pacific