A New Jersey appeals court recently reversed a $117 million jury verdict in favor of a man who allegedly developed cancer as a result of long-term use of Johnson & Johnson’s talc products (Appeals court overturns $117 million Johnson & Johnson baby powder verdict). The plaintiff was awarded $37 million in compensatory damages and $80 million in punitive damages in the original trial.
Plaintiff’s attorneys at trial requested sanctions on co-defendant Imerys, a talc supplier for Johnson & Johnson, for failing to produce court-ordered test data and talc samples. Although the trial judge told the jury that Johnson & Johnson was not involved in the improper conduct, she held that the jury could “infer that the missing evidence may have been helpful to the case to the detriment of Imerys.”
On appeal, the court determined that the trial judge’s instructions were “unduly prejudicial to Johnson & Johnson. “We are convinced that once the jury was permitted to draw an adverse inference that Imerys’ talc was contaminated with asbestos, it would be difficult, if not impossible for the jury to make the same finding as to (Johnson & Johnson),” the court wrote. “We therefore conclude that the trial court erred by failing to sever the claims.”
As of May 2020, Johnson & Johnson no longer sells Johnson’s Baby Powder in the United States and Canada, mostly due to a lack of demand as consumers have learned about the risks. Johnson & Johnson continues to claim there is no evidence its talc products cause cancer despite facing nearly 20,000 cancer lawsuits.
Johnson & Johnson has shown that it will exhaust every step of the legal process to avoid being held responsible for the damages caused by its products. It is critical that you obtain first-class legal representation if you are suffering from ovarian cancer or mesothelioma and have been exposed to products containing significant amounts of talc.
Please call Davis, Bethune & Jones at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will ensure that your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve.