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Mesothelioma victim in talcum powder case awarded $29.5 million

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson faced a flood of product liability lawsuits from consumers in Georgia and around the country after researchers linked asbestos in its popular baby powder with deadly cancers like mesothelioma. Johnson & Johnson has been found to be at fault in some of these lawsuits but not others. In July 2018, a Missouri jury awarded 22 women who claimed that they developed ovarian cancer after using the company's talcum-based powder $4.69 billion in damages. However, juries in New Jersey and California rejected similar claims made by women diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Another California case involving these issues was recently decided, and this time the jury found Johnson & Johnson mostly responsible for the plaintiff's mesothelioma. The woman testified in court that she had used the company's baby powder for decades and faced a long and painful death as a result. The jury ruled that the New Jersey-based manufacturer was aware of the risks posed by asbestos but failed to adequately warn consumers about them.

The jury awarded the woman damages totaling $29.5 million. She was awarded $291,000 to pay her existing medical bills, $1 million to cover her future medical expenses, $1.2 million for her lost income, $7 million for her physical and mental pain and suffering and $15 million for her future pain and suffering. Her partner was also awarded $2 million for his loss of companionship and $3 million for his future loss of companionship.

Cases such as these often come down to arguments over medical risk factors and lifestyle choices. Personal injury attorneys with experience in this area might assess the merits of litigation connected to dangerous substances in talcum powder or other consumer products by consulting with experts and specialists. Attorneys may also study the transcripts of similar lawsuits involving the potential defendant to find out what kind of arguments they made and how those arguments resonated with juries.

Source: The National Law Review, Johnson & Johnson Slammed with $29.5M Verdict Over Baby Powder Suit, Martin P. Schrama and Stefanie Colella-Walsh, March 27, 2019

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