NY Products Liability attorney Robert Friedman discusses how to recover damages for asbestos in talc powder.
Good Morning. I am Bob Friedman attorney with Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC. Welcome to the November 23rd, 2020 edition of the Legal Survival Channel: Today’s Legal News You Can Use.
Donna Olson of New York used Johnson & Johnson’s (“J&J”) Baby Powder and Shower to Shower every day for more than 50 years. This asbestos-containing talcum powder caused her to develop mesothelioma. She lost a lung as a result of her mesothelioma and now requires 24-hour care from her husband, Robert. Both Donna and Robert suffered “profound” emotional pain and anxiety. The jury awarded $300 million in punitive damages and $25 million in compensatory damages on their claims of failure-to-warn and defective design.
J&J made a motion to set aside the verdict. The order of November 11, 2020 from Manhattan New York Supreme Court Justice Gerald Lebovits found that the verdict was excessive. Although the jury had plenty of evidence to rule against J&J on the issue of liability, the original award of $300 million in punitive damages violated it’s due-process rights. The judge reduced the punitive damages to $105 million and compensatory damages from $25 million to $15 million for past and future pain and suffering, as well as lost companionship for Robert Olson.
The judge ruled that the evidence presented at trial supported the jury’s finding that J&J was responsible for Donna Olson’s illness. The court noted that J&J was put on notice as early as the 1950s that it’s baby powder, and the Italian talc from which it was sourced, contained small but significant amounts of asbestos that could be harmful if inhaled. There was also sufficient evidence that J&J sought to control scientific research into asbestos and talc and that it “slanted” information that it provided to the FDA in the 1970s.
If you believe that your cancer or mesothelioma diagnosis is related to use of talcum baby powder, regardless of the brand, you may have a case. To proceed with a lawsuit you will need a good lawyer who:
- Understands product liability laws.
- Has access to the experts and witnesses you need to make a case and prove that your medical condition is related to baby powder use.
- Can help you get justice for the harm caused to you and prevent harm to other people in the future.
For a free consultation, contact experienced NY product liability lawyers Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC seven days a week at 716.542.5444.