Johnson & Johnson, Imerys must pay USD 117 million to New Jersey man in asbestos cancer case

Johnson & Johnson and an Imerys SA unit must pay an additional $80 million in punitive damages in a lawsuit claiming a man developed cancer.

Published: 12th April 2018 01:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th April 2018 01:16 AM   |  A+A-

A bottle of Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder is seen in a photo illustration taken in New York. (Photo | Reuters)

By Reuters

NEW YORK: Johnson & Johnson and a unit of Imerys SA must pay $117 million in damages to a man who said he developed cancer due to his exposure to asbestos in talc-based products, a New Jersey state court jury said on Wednesday.

The jury ordered the companies to pay an additional $80 million in punitive damages after awarding the man $37 million in compensatory damages during the first stage of the trial on Thursday.

The verdict by jurors in New Brunswick, New Jersey, came in the second trial nationally to focus on claims that J&J's talc products contained asbestos as the company separately fights thousands of cases claiming they can also cause ovarian cancer.

Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $55 million and Imerys $25 million of the punitive damages award, according to an online broadcast of the trial by Courtroom View Network.

The decision marks the first trial loss for J&J over allegations that its talc-based consumer products, such as Johnson's Baby Powder, contain asbestos. The company denies the allegations, saying its powders do not contain asbestos or cause cancer.

J&J and Imerys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit was brought by New Jersey resident Stephen Lanzo, who said he developed mesothelioma after inhaling dust that was generated through his regular use of J&J talc powder products since his birth in 1972.

Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer closely associated with exposure to asbestos. It affects the delicate tissue that lines body cavities, most often around the lungs but also in the abdomen and elsewhere.

On Thursday, the jury awarded Lanzo $30 million and his wife $7 million in compensatory damages. It found J&J was responsible for 70 percent of the damages and said a unit of France-based Imerys SA, its talc supplier, was responsible for 30 percent.

J&J shares on Wednesday were slightly down 0.3 percent at 1900 GMT.

India Matters


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp