A trial begins this week in Middlesex County, New Jersey Superior Court, over claims that Johnson & Johnson’s talc containing products caused a man to develop mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer that develops in the tissue that lines the lungs, stomach, heart and other organs.
The lawsuit, filed by Stephen Lanzo III, is the second to blame talc-containing products manufactured by the consumer health care giant for causing mesothelioma. The first trial, held in November 2017 in Los Angeles Superior Court, involved the case of Tina Herford, and was won by the defense.
Johnson & Johnson is also faces thousands of lawsuits by women who claim its talc products including Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower caused them to develop ovarian cancer. In 2016, Johnson & Johnson lost three trials resulting in $55 million, $70 million and $72 million verdicts. In 2017, the company was hit with a $110 million and a $417 million verdict.
Talc is a mineral that can contain asbestos, though the company claims it removes any asbestos from the product before selling it to consumers. Asbestos is a known carcinogen and exposure has been linked to mesothelioma.
Lanzo’s trial was originally scheduled to begin Jan. 22, but was pushed back a week while the parties resolved a dispute. Lanzo claims his only exposure to asbestos was from Johnson’s Baby Powder. But Johnson & Johnson claims it has a tissue sample from Lanzo that shows possible exposure to another type of asbestos found in other commercial products.
Lanzo claims Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that its talc-containing products also contained asbestos but failed to warn consumers.
Source: New Jersey Law Journal