Tom Neill of Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C., was part of a trial team led by Mark Lanier of Houston and Eric Holland of St. Louis that achieved a significant victory against Johnson & Johnson in St. Louis Circuit Court on July 12th. The jury of six women and six men voted unanimously in favor of 22 plaintiffs, and returned damage awards of $25 million each. The same jury then returned to court and found Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary liable for over $4.1 billion in punitive damages.
Five of the plaintiffs were family members who had tragically lost wives and mothers to ovarian cancer suffered as a result of using talcum baby powder marketed and manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. Many of the plaintiffs were courageous women who are still fighting ovarian cancer, while a few plaintiffs have been able to overcome the disease after intensive, painful therapies.
The verdict, after six weeks of trial, was easily one of the largest ever in the state of Missouri, and the largest of its kind in the country over talcum powder related cancers.
Throughout the trial, Johnson & Johnson tried to establish that the baby powder was safe, and that in any event it was not aware of dangers from the product. The jury unanimously rejected this defense, after the plaintiffs’ trial team presented numerous documents showing the company was aware for decades that its baby powder contained asbestos and posed a significant danger to anyone coming into contact with it.
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Posted in News July 14, 2018