A New Jersey judge has upheld a $117 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc America over allegations that talcum-based baby powder produced by these companies are contaminated with asbestos. In April, J&J and Imerys were ordered to pay $37 million in compensatory damages plus $80 million in punitive damages to a man who was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer after using Johnson’s Baby Powder and other talcum powder products.
According to the lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and Imerys, plaintiff Stephen Lanzo used talc products sold by the pharmaceutical giant between 1972 and 2003. Lanzo was later diagnosed with mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos.
Lanzo filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and Imerys, the company which mined the talc used in J&J’s talcum powder products. The lawsuit alleged that Johnson’s Baby Powder, Shower to Shower, and other talc brands marketed by J&J were contaminated with asbestos, and that the company’s testing methods were not precise enough to detect whether contamination had occurred.