We at Milestone want to cheer from the rooftops when a person or group of people prevail against a corporation that harmed them, and today is no different. A three-judge panel in the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District upheld the verdict against Johnson & Johnson over claims that link its talc-based baby powders to ovarian cancer. The company will have to pay $2.1 billion to the women and families who bravely stood up to J&J for knowingly using asbestos-laced talc in its products.
In yesterday’s 83-page opinion, the Missouri judges said expert testimony from 2018 regarding asbestos exposure was based on reasonable methodology and was a legitimate basis for holding J&J liable for the cancer that women developed after using its talc-based powders. The panel upheld the $500 million in actual damages originally awarded to the women but cut punitive damages to about $1.6 billion.
“The opinion carefully explains the reprehensible conduct of J&J, and upholds critical damages to make the world a safer place,” said attorney Mark Lanier, who represents the plaintiffs.
Lanier has been working for years to make J&J take responsibility for continuing to sell its baby powders for decades while knowing about the connection to ovarian cancer. Last month, when the company said it would cease manufacturing products containing talc, he welcomed the announcement but noted that more work needed to be done. “We anticipate trying these cases and doing our absolute best to prevail again and again,” Lanier said. “Today’s action by the company will stop future exposure, but justice still needs pursuing for those exposed and harmed in the past.”
Yesterday was a huge step toward obtaining that justice for the families all over the country who have been impacted by these dangerous products. Congratulations to Mark Lanier and the plaintiffs’ team on this victory.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).