Citing J&J’s “Reprehensible” Actions, Judge Upholds Mesothelioma Punitive Damages

One of the most significant mesothelioma lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson saw four victims awarded $750 million in punitive damages on top of $37.3 million in compensatory damages. Despite the punitive award being reduced to $186 million in keeping with New Jersey law, Johnson & Johnson petitioned New Jersey Superior Court Judge Ana C. Viscomi to further reduce or set aside the award. She denied their request, citing the company’s “reprehensible” actions and “direct lies” to the public.

talcum powder

Judge Points to “Clear and Convincing” Evidence of Company’s Role in Mesothelioma 

There have been many mesothelioma and ovarian cancer lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson. Each victim has argued that the company was negligent in having allowed the company’s talc products to be sold without warnings about asbestos contamination and potential risks to consumer health. 

Though the company’s attorneys have defended their actions and argued that the corporate giant had removed all impurities that could lead to mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases, Judge Viscomi pointed to compelling evidence showing that the company’s executives were aware that not all asbestos fibers had been filtered out of its products.

J & J Knew that Asbestos Could Cause Malignant Mesothelioma and Other Asbestos-Related Diseases

In denying Johnson & Johnson’s motion to have the punitive damages against them set aside, Judge Viscomi referred to much of the evidence that had been presented during the course of the mesothelioma lawsuit. She said that “J&J’s conduct here was reprehensible.” She recalled that the company had failed to report the presence of asbestos in their product to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, had edited “unfavorable test results from reports,” and that they had even gone so far as to push the agency to accept a testing standard that they were aware was not sensitive enough to detect the carcinogen.

Despite the company’s assertions that the damages they’d been ordered to pay were too high, Judge Viscomi said that it was “not so clearly disproportionate to the injury and does not shock the conscience of the court.” The victims and their families will receive the compensation they deserve.

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Paul Danziger

Paul Danziger


Paul Danziger grew up in Houston, Texas and earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. For over 25 years years he has focused on representing mesothelioma cancer victims and others hurt by asbestos exposure. Paul and his law firm have represented thousands of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, recovering significant compensation for injured clients. Every client is extremely important to Paul and he will take every call from clients who want to speak with him. Paul and his law firm handle mesothelioma cases throughout the United States.

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