To veterans diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases, there are certain corporate names that represent death and misery — the names of the companies that provided asbestos-contaminated materials to the Armed Forces with the knowledge that they could cause illness and death. Now one of the world’s most recognizable and trusted name brands – Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder – may join the ranks of those defense contractors: the company faces accusations of causing both malignant mesothelioma and ovarian cancer in those who have used it over the years, and legal experts say that the lawsuits that have already been filed seeking compensation could lead to $20 billion in settlements, and even more claims being filed.
The largest jury verdict that Johnson & Johnson has received so far was not for a mesothelioma victim: rather, it was for 22 women who blame the company’s product for having caused their ovarian cancer. That group received a jury verdict of $4.69 billion, attracting worldwide attention and discussions about whether Johnson & Johnson would start offering settlements rather than continuing to be plagued with headlines about big payouts. Though the company has largely resisted offering settlements, they did pay a New York woman with mesothelioma 1.5 million dollars, and legal experts anticipate that the more losses they face, the higher the likelihood that they will need to reconsider their strategy. Many are looking to a case that is pending in St. Louis that involves 38 women, and say that if the company is found negligent in that trial too then it will be a game changer.
Elizabeth Burch teaches mass-tort law at the University of Georgia, and she says,“The increased number of trials, especially in what is considered a plaintiff-friendly venue like St. Louis, doesn’t augur well for J&J. The more they lose, the more cases will be filed. I just don’t see how they are going to get a handle on this litigation.” Other notable cases that have already been heard include a couple in New Jersey who accused the company of causing the man’s malignant mesothelioma. The jury in that case awarded the couple $117 million in compensation for their expenses and suffering.
Veterans who were sickened by asbestos in products provided to the military are able to sue the companies that provided the contaminated materials to the Armed Forces, as well as to get benefits from the VA. For assistance with both, contact us today at 1-800-726-7245.