One of America’s most well-known corporations is facing significant legal trouble. Health-care product supplier Johnson & Johnson, along with a talc mining company, will have to pay $37 million after losing a court battle.
Johnson & Johnson and Imersys SA lost a case in New Jersey on Thursday, April 5. The lawsuit, filed by Stephen Lanzo III, accuses the companies of causing his cancer. Lanzo is sick with mesothelioma; a type of cancer linked to asbestos. He claims using Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products contributed to his disease.
Lanzo is not the first to sue Johnson & Johnson over this issue. He is, however, the first to succeed. The jurors in the Brunswick, New Jersey, trial are the first to uphold a consumer claim of this magnitude.
According to Bloomberg, Johnson and Johnson also faced suits from approximately 6,600 women. Those women claim that Johnson and Johnson’s products caused them to develop ovarian cancer.
The company is known for their baby powder, baby bath items, and numerous adult products as well. The company is also the world’s largest health-care company.
Johnson & Johnson Products Allegedly Caused Cancer
Both companies still say they are not at fault. Johnson & Johnson will comment further once the trial concludes. The jury still has to decide on whether aspects of the case require the companies to pay punitive damages.
As of now, Lanzo is owed $30 million for pain and suffering. The companies also owe Lanzo’s wife $7 million.
The panel of jurors says Johnson and Johnson will be responsible for 70 percent of the damages. Imersys is accountable for the other 30 percent.
A confidential memo from a Johnson and Johnson scientist from 1969 is also a significant factor in the case. It states that, at the time, tests of the talc used in Johnson and Johnson products were positive for mesothelioma. The researcher warned of potential legal action if that information became public.
The loss in court is not a crisis for the vast manufacturer. It could, however, cause a severe hit to its reputation.