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New Jersey Couple Gets $37 Million in Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuit

By Molly Zilli, Esq. on April 10, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

You don't have to search too hard to find some clickbait article about everyday household products that are slowly killing you. But what happens when you legitimately believe that one of those products has caused you a great deal of harm? One New Jersey couple took the makers of talcum powder to court, claiming the product gave the husband cancer. Now, thanks to that lawsuit, they've been awarded a total of $37 million.

An Aggressive and Deadly Cancer

Stephen Lanzo said he used product's like Johnson & Johnson's Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for over 30 years. After decades of using the talcum powder products, he contracted an aggressive, deadly cancer called mesothelioma, which affects the lining of his lungs.

Claims of Asbestos in Talc Powder

Lanzo's attorney's accused Johnson & Johnson of failing to disclose information to customers about the risks of asbestos in their talc products. The lawsuit claims that Lanzo's long-term exposure to the talc powder caused his cancer because of the proximity of asbestos to the mining of talc deposits. Johnson & Johnson argued that, per legal requirements, its products have been asbestos-free since the 1970s.

Husband and Wife Each Awarded Millions

While other cases against Johnson & Johnson have not been successful, there are thousands currently making their way through the courts. And in this case, the jury sided with the Lanzos, awarding Stephen $30 million in compensatory damages, and his wife, Kendra, $7 million. Johnson & Johnson was found to be 70 percent liable, while Imerys Talc, a supplier of the mineral, got 30 percent.

If you suspect that a seemingly harmless product has injured you, speak with an attorney as soon as possible to assess the strength of your claim and understand what needs to be done going forward.

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