Yesterday, a jury awarded a woman more than $110 million in a lawsuit claiming she developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) talcum powder products for decades. This verdict is by far the largest one yet in the trials involving talc products and cancer.
Lois Slemp is represented by Ted Meadows, Danielle Mason and David Dearing of Beasley Allen and by Allen Smith of the Smith Law Firm. This plaintiff’s win is a particularly outstanding one, as Slemp’s case was selected for trial by the defense and comes on the heels of J&J’s first talc-related defense verdict in St. Louis.
The lawyers successfully argued J&J and talc supplier Imerys Talc America knew for decades that talc is a carcinogen, and despite this knowledge, the companies failed to warn consumers about the potential cancer risks. They explained to the jury that 62-year-old Slemp had used products like Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder for decades and was unaware of the life-threatening risks. She is now undergoing treatment for her ovarian cancer, which has spread to her liver.
After about a day of deliberation, the jurors awarded Slemp $5.4 million in compensatory damages and $105 million in punitive damages. Imerys was also ordered to pay a $50,000 portion of the punitive damages. Yesterday’s verdict award is significantly more than those of three other trials related to talc and cancer in 2016, which were about $72 million, $55 million and $70 million. A jury in the single federal talc trial to date found J&J was negligent, but they did not award damages.
Congratulations to Danielle Mason and the entire trial team on this major win. The verdict is yet another example of how the civil justice system holds companies accountable when they ignore scientific evidence and fail to protect people for the sake of profit.
Plaintiffs’ Financial Options After Resolution
The next step after a win like this is to make sure the plaintiff is educated on her options for managing her settlement. At Milestone, we have helped many plaintiffs plan their financial futures after their cases resolve. While the award of damages is meant to help with medical care and other related expenses, it can also turn a family’s financial life on its head. We’re here to help plaintiffs take the critical next step to ensure the money from the lawsuit has as much positive impact on their lives as possible.
ABOUT JOHN BAIR
John Bair has guided thousands of plaintiffs through the settlement process as founder of Milestone Consulting, LLC, a broad-based settlement planning and management firm. Milestone’s approach is comprehensive and future-focused. John’s team has guided thousands of clients by taking the time to understand the complexities of each case. They assess the best outcome and find the path that enables each client to manage their many needs. Read more about Milestone Consulting at milestoneseventh.com.
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).