NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – A New Jersey state court jury awarded $37.3 million to four plaintiffs claiming they developed mesothelioma from inhaling asbestos allegedly present in Johnson & Johnson’s cosmetic talc products.
In the first consolidated talc/mesothelioma trial involving multiple plaintiffs, the jury in J&J’s hometown of New Brunswick, New Jersey, unanimously concluded that the company’s handling of the asbestos-laced baby powder and a former product, Shower-to-Shower powder, contributed to the development of cancer in the plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs, Douglas Barden, 65, David Etheridge, 57, D’Angela McNeill-George, 41, and Will Ronning, 46, said they faced long-term exposure to carcinogens as children because their parents used the talc-based powders on them.
Each of the four mesothelioma victims — who have peritoneal mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the abdominal cavity — took the witness stand during the trial to discuss the impact of the disease on their lives and their outlook for the future.
David Etheridge, represented by Chris Panatier of Simon Greenstone Panatier, was the last of the four plaintiffs to provide such testimony, telling the jury, “I believe that cancer is just a disease. It’s not a death sentence, but in my case, my cancer is a death sentence.” Mr. Etheridge added, “It doesn’t oppress me, but it makes me sad because I think about the future and my family’s future.”
The New Jersey verdict is among more than a half-dozen trial losses for J&J in recent months, as many more consumers claim J&J hid the health risks of the baby powder for 50 years.
The plaintiffs are represented by Chris J. Panatier of Simon Greenstone Panatier PC, Moshe Maimon of Levy Konigsberg LLP and Christopher M. Placitella of Cohen Placitella & Roth PC.
Simon Greenstone Panatier, P.C., is a nationally recognized trial law firm with a reputation for creative and aggressive representation of clients in a wide variety of catastrophic personal injury matters nationwide. For more information, visit http://www.sgptrial.com/.